NYC Council considering cap on ride-share companies, study says congestion worse

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Tim Fleischer has more on the new proposal is to help crackdown on traffic congestion.

For the first time, New York City is pushing to cap the number of ride-sharing cars in the five boroughs.

The new proposal is to help crackdown on traffic congestion.
The new study examines the transportation network companies, or TNCs, as they are known, and the impact they have on public transportation and traffic congestion in New York and other large cities.

It finds about 60 percent of TNC users in large, dense cities would have taken public transportation, walked, biked or not made the trip if TNCs had not been available for the trip. And about 40 percent would have used a personal vehicle or taxicab had TNCs not been available for the trip.

The cars provide a whole new option.

"More cars on the road mean more congestion, and that's sort of the problem people see and feel today," transportation consultant Bruce Schaller said.

Drivers have noticed increased traffic.

"3:30, 4 o'clock in the afternoon, it takes me more than an hour when it is a 25-minute ride in the morning," driver Stephen Ariaudo said.

Officials at Lyft point out other studies have drawn different conclusions. They believe their users are more likely to use public transportation.

"Lyft is also focused on decreasing congestion by integrating with public transit," they said.

But Schaller believes dedicated bus lanes and congestion pricing would help alleviate congestion. Uber officials agree with some of those public policies, like congestion pricing.

Uber is fighting back with TV ads urging people to tell the city council "not to strand New Yorkers." They say that people need the service in the outer boroughs where subway service is spread out.

Schaller believes the MTA and the city also have vested interest.

"Certainly the city understands that managing scarce street space is a key thing for them to be doing," he said.

A report in the New York Times says that the City Council is also considering establishing a minimum wage for ride-share drivers.

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