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MIT Technology Review

New York City has hit Uber with a cap on new cars

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Licenses for new ride-hailing vehicles in the city are about to get scarce.

The news: The New York City Council passed legislation this afternoon that puts a one-year hold on the issuing of new ride-hailing licenses and sets a wage floor for drivers. The new rules will take effect as soon as Mayor Bill de Blasio, who supported the bills, signs them into law.

Slamming on the brakes: This is a big blow to Uber—the Big Apple is the company’s biggest US market. But since it started, Uber’s habit has been to embrace rapid growth while paying little heed to those its business upset or put out of work, rather than working to find ways to co-exist in the towns into which it expanded.

Why it matters: This makes New York the first major American city to set a cap on ride-hailing vehicles or to set pay rules for gig drivers. It also sets a precedent that other cities could follow, which would spell trouble for ride-hailing firms. It’s especially bad timing for Uber, as the company intends to go public next year.