Ride-hail growth slows under new regulations

The interior of a ride-hail car.
The interior of a ride-hail car.
Shutterstock

Ride-hail growth slows under new regulations

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a permanent extension of the FHV cap and new limits.
July 16, 2019

Uber and Lyft may be starting to feel the weight of New York City laws regulating the ride-hail industry, according to a new analysis of ridership data by Bloomberg. In May, Uber completed 15.9 million trips in New York City, while Lyft logged 4.7 million. Those numbers represent an 8% dip for Uber since March, and 17,000 fewer trips for Lyft since March. Together, they suggest that the slate of historic regulations passed by the New York City Council last summer – including a one-year cap on new for-hire vehicles and a minimum pay standard – are taking their toll on the companies. 

An Uber spokesman told Bloomberg that the company has seen growth in trips via its cheaper carpool option, further suggesting that the higher prices of rides caused by the new minimum pay standard are deterring price-conscious riders.

Both companies went public earlier this year, and bothacknowledged in their IPO filings that regulations can pose a risk to their businesses. Uber referenced New York City’s regulatory framework specifically, mentioning their negative impact on the company’s financial performance. 

There doesn’t seem to be any letup in sight, either: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a permanent extension of the FHV cap and new limits on the amount of time that app-based companies like Uber and Lyft can allow their cars to idle without passengers in Manhattan.

For the rest of today's tech news, head over to First Read Tech.

Annie McDonough
Annie McDonough
is a tech and policy reporter at City & State.
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