The New York City Council voted Wednesday to halt licenses for ride-hailing vehicles in the city for a year while it studies the industry. If the law is signed by the seemingly supportive Mayor Bill de Blasio, the city will also be able to set a minimum pay for drivers. Uber warned its passengers that the changes could result in higher prices and longer wait times. “The City’s 12-month pause on new vehicle licenses will threaten one of the few reliable transportation options while doing nothing to fix the subways or ease congestion,” said spokesman Josh Gold. He said the company would try to recruit drivers who are already licensed to work for other ride-hailing services and advocate for tolling drivers who enter the most congested parts of the city. City Council Speaker Corey Johnson defended the halt, saying, “We are pausing the issuance of new licenses in an industry that has been allowed to proliferate without any appropriate check or regulation.” The rule will go into effect when it is signed by de Blasio. This is the first time a U.S. city has tried to restrict ride-hailing services. The move could decrease the growth rate of Uber, a $48 billion company that intends to go public next year.
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