New York lifts ride-hail fleet cap as long as they’re electric
New York City has lifted the cap on the number of cars ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft can have on the city’s roads — but there is a major specification, as the new vehicles must be electric. The move is part of a push by Mayor Eric Adams and the Taxi and Limousine Commission to shift the vehicles used by the ride-hailing services from gas power to being either battery-powered or handicap accessible by 2030.
Through the measure, the city hopes to expand the fleet of for-hire vehicles in the city back to pre-pandemic levels of 100,000, while they are currently around 78,000.
The transition will be gradual, as new regulations will require that ride-hailing companies move 5% of their rides in cars that are either electric or can fit a wheelchair by the end of 2024. After that, 15% of trips will be required to be electric or wheelchair accessible by the end of 2025, with 25% required by the end of 2026. By the end of 2027, the figure stands at 40% and then increasing by 20 percentage points per year until gas cars that are not wheelchair-accessible are entirely phased out of ride-hailing fleets by the end of 2030.
At the beginning of the year, New York had specified that ride-hailing companies must go fully electric by 2030. As the deadline approaches, it has been softened to become more inclusive for wheelchair-bound passengers.
“Anyone with an electric vehicle can put in an application to be a ride share driver, put even more New Yorkers on the road to opportunity, jobs, employment, economic possibilities but doing it in a clean way,” said Mayor Eric Adams, at a pre-rollout event earlier this week. The sentiment is shared by Commissioner and Chair of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission David Do, who said: “This gradual, measured transition will benefit the environment, the city’s rideshare drivers, and anyone needing an accessible vehicle.”