Uber is suing New York, seeking to overturn the city’s year-long cap on new licenses for ride-hailing vehicles. The company said it’s suing the city because it’s worried that the temporary restriction could become a permanent draconian measure.

In its February 15 lawsuit filed in New York Supreme Court, Uber claims the city is punishing it with a “ban first, study later” approach that’s anti-competitive and hurts customers who live outside of Manhattan.

“The City chose to significantly restrict service, growth, and competition by the for-hire vehicle industry, which will have a disproportionate impact on residents outside of Manhattan who have long been underserved by yellow taxis and mass transit.”

“The City made this choice in the absence of any evidence that doing so would meaningfully impact congestion ― the problem the City was ostensibly acting to solve.”

In August 2018, the New York City Council voted to impose a 12-month cap on new licenses for ride-hail companies such as Uber and Lyft, CNBC reported.

During the year that the cap is in effect, the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission plans to examine the effects of ride-hail services ― notably, its impact on traffic congestion.

Suicides Spike among Yellow-Cab Drivers

Authorities also cited a growing economic crisis among yellow-cab drivers, who complain that increasing competition from Uber and Lyft is hurting their livelihoods. The result has been an alarming spike in suicides among yellow-cab drivers.

In a November 2018 statement, the New York Taxi Workers Alliance discussed the harrowing crisis:

“Eight drivers have now died by suicide because of the crisis Uber created. That’s why Uber drivers and yellow cab drivers from across the city united to win the historic cap on for-hire-vehicles — to put an end to the financial despair, debt, and poverty that is literally killing our brothers.”

~ccn