The long-running battle between New York City and Uber is coming to an end, with the de Blasio administration agreeing to drop plans to put a cap on how many Uber cars can operate within city limits.
Under the new agreement, New York City will conduct a study on the effect of Uber and other ride-hailing apps on city traffic and the environment. This study will run for four months.
A previous bill from the New York City Council aimed to put a cap on the number of Uber cars in operation during the study, and while the news will be great for Uber, city officials have said that a cap is still possible further down the line.
Before the announcement, Uber was rather aggressively denouncing the New York mayor in the media, spending a massive $3.2 million on ads attacking the mayor's campaign to limit Uber's growth in New York. The campaign accused de Blasio of defending the yellow cab industry in New York, with the leaders of the yellow cab industry having been big contributors to the mayor in the past. The two sides have argued over who had the interests of working-class drivers and passengers in mind.
Uber has also recently launched campaigns positioning itself as being an alternative to taxis, which sometimes illegally refuse to pick up people of color or drive to neighborhoods in the city's outer limits.
Interestingly enough, Uber found a new ally in New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who came to Uber's defense against the mayor's plans, calling Uber a great invention of the new economy.
"I don't think government should be in the business of trying to restrict job growth," Cuomo said in a radio interview.
The proposal itself would have meant that Uber's growth was limited to 1 percent, with the city suggesting that Uber was partly responsible for the slowing of traffic in Manhattan.
Uber has experienced massive growth in New York since its launch in 2011, growing to around 60,000 Uber cars in the city, up by 60 percent from when it launched. Uber itself owns around 20,000 of these vehicles, the remainder are private vehicles used by its drivers.
Before the announcement that the growth cap had been dropped, the dispute between the de Blasio administration and Uber showed little sign of slowing. While the announcement will bring a welcome break to the dispute, it is unlikely that the argument is over for good, with Uber facing opposition in a number of other cities in which it operates. Recently the company pulled out of Broward County in Florida because of "onerous" regulations being imposed on the company.
Via: The New York Times