NYC Mayor Ditches Plan To Curb Uber Expansion In The City

It seems Uber will get its way in New York City after all: Though Mayor Bill de Blasio was pushing for limits on how much the ride-hailing service and other for-hire vehicle companies could expand their fleets, city hall is now backing down from that plan amid backlash from Uber, Governor Andrew Cuomo and some famous folks.

City hall dropped a proposal that would’ve curbed the growth of for-hire vehicles on the streets of the Big Apple. Uber has agreed to fork over data for a four-month study of the impact of cars on traffic congestion and the environment, reports Bloomberg News, and the city won’t cap its growth while that study is ongoing.

“These elements represent a smart and fair way to address the issues posed by the FHV industry in New York,” First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris said in a statement. “The City’s goals and obligations are clear — protect the public, encourage growth and innovation, and keep New York City moving.”

“This is great news for all New Yorkers, including Uber riders and drivers.”

Uber, of course, is pleased. The legislation would’ve put limitations of just a 1% increase in FHVs per year for companies with more than 500 vehicles, and 5% on those that have between 20 and 499 vehicles.

“Together, we can build an even better, more reliable transportation system,” an Uber spokesman said in a statement. “This is great news for all New Yorkers, including Uber riders and drivers.”

Mayor de Blasio was at odds with Gov. Cuomo — one of many quibbles the two have been having on a variety of topics — with Cuomo saying in a radio interview on Wednesday that the Uber measure wouldn’t have helped traffic and could have affected the rest of the state if Uber drivers left the city for neighboring counties.

“Uber is one of these great inventions, startups, of this new economy and it’s taking off like fire to dry grass and it’s giving people jobs,” Cuomo said. “I don’t think the government should be in the business of restricting job growth.”

Model Kate Upton and other celebrities also came out on the side of Uber, Tweeting disapproval of de Blasio’s plan out to their millions of followers.

Uber itself had launched a campaign against the measures this week with TV commercials and a “de Blasio” button in its app that showed how much longer passengers would have to wait for a ride if the proposal went through, and urged customers to write to the mayor and city council and voice their support for the company.

De Blasio Scraps Plan to Curb Uber’s New York City Growth After Backlash [Bloomberg]

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