NYC Mayor De Blasio Realizes His Plan To Kneecap Uber Was A Disaster, Backs Down
from the so-much-for-that dept
Earlier this week, we noted that NY City mayor Bill de Blasio appeared to pick a fight with Uber that he couldn’t possibly win. The plan was to create a taxi medallion-like system for car hailing apps like Uber and Lyft, but which would cap the number of such cars that could be on the road. The PR campaign against this effort was tremendous (obviously, some of it pushed by Uber and Lyft — but much of it by the happy users and drivers on those platforms). De Blasio and his staff apparently believed that there really wasn’t popular support for these platforms, which was just wrong. As the negative publicity continued to mount, including having various celebrities weigh in on how stupid the plan was, it appears that de Blasio has backed down and agreed to drop the plan, at least for the time being.
The agreement brings a temporary end to a fractious struggle that had consumed City Hall for several days, and inundated parts of the city with mailers, phone calls, advertisements and even celebrity endorsements.
Under the agreement, according to three people familiar with the agreement, the city will conduct a four-month study on the effect of Uber and other for-hire vehicle operators on the city?s traffic and environment.
To save face, the mayor’s office is also claiming that this is a “victory” because Uber agreed to share some data with the mayor’s office about usage of the platform. However, this is pretty clearly a victory for Uber, its drivers and the people who use the service. There are some legitimate questions about how these companies operate and what they mean for the cities and residents where they exist, but this move, from the beginning, was clearly about paying back taxi cab companies who had supported de Blasio’s election, rather than any legitimate concern for the city.