Uber’s free-wheeling era of growth is coming to an end

Ride-hail companies have entered a new era, marked not by breakneck growth but by skeptical and emboldened regulators. Cities lost the first round against Uber, which strong-armed them into passing rules it wrote to suit its ride-hail service before anyone could figure out what was happening. Now, cities have regrouped and are flexing their muscles. One by one, Uber’s most important markets—London, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, the entire state of California—are proposing taxes and rules that one way or another make rides more expensive.

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UberLyftDrivers.com

[By Alison Griswold]

November was a bad month for Uber. London declined to renew its license. Seattle approved new fees on rides and a to-be-determined minimum wage for drivers. Chicago passed a congestion tax on ride-hail services that adds as much as $3 to private rides during peak hours. New Jersey hit the company with a $640 million bill for misclassifying drivers as independent contractors.

Uber’s share price slipped by 6% in November, to $29.60. Even equity analysts, a famously optimistic bunch, have lost faith in Uber and lowered their price targets to an average of around its $45 IPO price, a mark Uber has closed above only twice since it went public in May.

Ride-hail companies have entered a new era, marked not by breakneck growth but by skeptical and emboldened regulators. Cities lost the first round against Uber, which strong-armed them into passing rules it wrote to…

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