Uber

Uber Fights Back With 'De Blasio Option' vs. NYC Bill to Limit Growth

You'll never guess how long it'll take to get a ride if the mayor gets his way.

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A screen cap of the Uber message
Quartz

The New York City Council, with the help of lefty mayor Bill de Blasio, is working to limit the pace at which ride-booking services like Uber can grow. And by limit the pace, I mean basically stop it in its tracks.

Today Uber tried a gambit to shame them into backing down. Reports Quartz:

New Yorkers using Uber today (July 16) found a new option among the car service's offerings—named after New York's mayor, Bill de Blasio…What happens if you try to choose the service? You get a political message criticizing a De Blasio-endorsed plan to limit the number of cars on Uber's platform for the next year while the city studies its traffic problem…

It also shows a much longer wait time than New Yorkers (and residents of other cities where Uber has gained a foothold) are probably used to. This is meant to to give "a rough estimate of what wait times will be if the Mayor's cap is in effect for one year…based off of the fact that we have 25,000 New Yorkers using the app every week for the first time," said a spokesman in the article.

As I reported in June, proponents of the bill to cap the number of cars Uber can add apparently took a page out of the playbook of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's staff—they say it's necessary so the city can conduct a traffic study. From my interview with Council Member Stephen Levin, who sponsored the legislation:

"New licenses for for-hire vehicles are being issued, right now, left unchecked, at 2,000 a month," he says. "And there are environmental impacts to that, because you have 25,000 new cars on the road that are driving around all the time. There is an impact to congestion, which slows down city buses, for example…There could be health impacts, potentially, with asthma rates. Regardless, it's something that needs to be studied."

He's also confident New Yorkers will do just fine getting around without the missing cars:

"I don't think that anyone who lives in New York right now is saying that there's a scarcity of options for for-hire vehicles," says…Levin, who represents Brooklyn. "It's not hard anywhere in my district at all to find some type of either [outer-burrough] cab, Lyft, Uber, or livery within a matter of minutes, at any time."

I asked Levin why livery companies would be adding 2,000 cars every month if there weren't a "scarcity of options" in New York.

"Um…because…I mean, I don't know," he says. "I think that's one thing the study can look at."

Sounds like sound logic to me.

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  2. “We have 25,000 New Yorkers using the app every week for the first time.”

    Let’s say their consumer growth rate halves over the next year.

    12,500 * 52 = 650,000 voters who are gonna hate you, Mayor De Blasio–and that’s not counting all their current users who already hate you.

    1. Who else will they vote for ? Some Tethuglicankoch ? Please…..

  3. “I don’t think that anyone who lives in New York right now is saying that there’s a scarcity of options for for-hire vehicles,” says…Levin, who represents Brooklyn. “It’s not hard anywhere in my district at all to find some type of either [outer-burrough] cab, Lyft, Uber, or livery within a matter of minutes, at any time.”

    And who really needs 23 kinds of deodorant, anyway? Sanders/De Blasio 2016!

    I asked Levin why livery companies would be adding 2,000 cars every month if there weren’t a “scarcity of options” in New York.

    “Um…because…I mean, I don’t know,” he says. “I think that’s one thing the study can look at.”

    Owned.

    1. I’m sure the massive clusterfuck known as the MTA Subway System has nothing to do with this either. Protectionism everywhere in this town.

    2. Chances a New York city councilman ever actually hails a cab?

  4. DeBlasio is going to cause a hipster uprising. What’s next, is he going to ban artisan bakeries?

    1. If he does that, I’ll have no alternative but to go to a goddamned Christian bakery to get the cake for my Confederate-flag-themed gay wedding.

  5. Parasites are gonna parasite.

    Politicians that is.

    Scum that they are.

  6. So…. people unable to use Uber will quit traveling altogether?

    1. no, they will just have to pay more to do so then they would otherwise.

      1. But according to de Blasio’s reasoning, total commuter miles will drop if they limit Uber cars. I’m assuming not even he is dumb enough to believe Uber drivers are out on the roads for the fun of it, so he must believe fewer Uber drivers means fewer vehicles means fewer commuters.

        1. well, they’ll be unemployed- which means they can’t afford their cars- which means they WON’T be driving anywhere.

  7. I saw a youngish dude on the sidewalk the other day, trying to hail a cab with his hand*. I thought: “how quaint”.

    *there was a taxi staging area less than a block away, too.

    1. My hailing technique is unmatched. I get the wrist going from side to side, and boom! cabs are crashing into themselves just to pick me up.

      1. ” wrist going from side to side”

        Are they pink cabs?

    2. That’s the statist hipster douche trying to make a point.

      1. Have you gotten to Pan’s South Hero Pizza yet?

        1. Unfortunately no. But my sister’s family is heading out that way for camping so I’ll tip them off to it.

          1. I hope to get to Vermont maybe in Sep/Oct.

          2. Cool…she may close up shop on weekdays if you don’t get down there til fall, but leaf peeper business may allow her to run on weekdays.

            1. I may just sucker my brother in law and nephew into a special pizza journey.

  8. “while the city studies its traffic problem”

    The one created by making it harder to rideshare?

  9. What’s up with this upworthy type article sub headline shit?!

    1. Some of the wittier writers use that location for biting reparte in the best commentariat style. Roll with it.

  10. I asked Levin why livery companies would be adding 2,000 cars every month if there weren’t a “scarcity of options” in New York.

    “Um…because…I mean, I don’t know,” he says. “I think that’s one thing the study can look at.”

    That’s just beautiful.

    However, I’m sure that Mr. Levin will completely ignore that and continue to think he’s completely right on the subject, regardless of what his “study” says.

  11. I’ve only been home (The Rockaways, Queens) from work for 3 hours and I’ve already seen the new Uber commercial, blasting our Mayor, 4 times. It’s a nice piece; a montage of interviews with drivers (mostly minorities) talking about how much the entrenched taxi lobby and the economically ignorant mayor screw over the city’s least affluent citizenry.

  12. I honestly don’t understand the hate for ride share services by progressives? Can anyone explain it? You basically just pay for a ride right?

    1. Those with whom I have conversed about the subject seemed to really, really, really hate the idea of surge pricing. I was subjected to tirades about how during a blizzard, blacks and latinos would not be able to afford to use the service and would freeze to death on the sidewalk. I’m not exaggerating, that was the entirety of their argument.

      1. Whereas if Uber didn’t exist, they would all…

        1. You don’t understand. It’s not that poor minorities can’t afford surge pricing. It’s that upper middle class white people *can*. Can’t allow that kind of inequality!

    2. Mostly it’s just union protectionism.

      1. And that includes the taxi cartel – if not in name, in spirit.

        1. I don’t doubt that, but I think the critics include much more than just unions and competitors.

  13. I have to ask – if Uber really is some unregulated behemoth that’s dangerous for users, how is it any different from the nail salons, farms, and small businesses that exploit illegal aliens? Why does one require eternal government vigilance and studies, and the other require a nuanced approach?

    1. Easy, because those are different. And I said so.

    2. Actually, they want to regulate those too. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05……html?_r=0

      1. If I recall correctly, Cuomo made shop owners put up worker’s right notices and considered more inspections. It’s not as sweeping as LA or NY’s overreach on Uber.

        And the nail salon exploitation was real. Uber had some isolated incidents of rape and other unpleasant business.

  14. I wish someone would just ask DeBlasio, “why do you really want to harm Uber? It is extremely popular with riders and drivers alike, and we all know your traffic study/excuse is bullshit, so just level with us. Is it the taxi lobby? The MTA? Is your ex’s new boyfriend an Uber driver? Why do you want to stop people from using a service that they love? Please Bill, enlighten us.”

    1. Personally, I believe he does it because he is an asshole and a Luddite. He has lowered the city speed limit to 25mph for all streets without posted limits and 30mph for every street that was posted 40mph or above, he is also spending hundreds of thousands of dollars the city doesn’t have to install those British style speed-cameras all over town.

    2. “why do you really want to harm Uber?”

      Same reason he does everything else. BFYTW.

      His testicles swell with lust and pride whenever he forces other people into submission.

  15. I asked Levin why livery companies would be adding 2,000 cars every month if there weren’t a “scarcity of options” in New York.

    “Um…because…I mean, I don’t know,” he says. “I think that’s one thing the study can look at.”

    Stephanie just won the internet. And Stephen Levin probably is as ignorant as that answer makes him seem. I doubt that thought ever crossed his mind, and if it did, the answer probably was “Because they are greedy capitalists trying to take advantage of drivers and consumers.”

    And someone should tell him it doesn’t matter what the reason is. They aren’t his fucking cars.

  16. The taxi companies and the pols have had a mutually beneficial relationship for decades. The companies pay the pols and the pols make laws to benefit and protect the companies.

    de Blasio instinctively understands which side to support.

    I’m glad Uber raised the money to be able to fight and I hope the people of the city insist on innovation above protectionism. Even if unsuccessful the effort will show people what’s up and how they rate in the eyes of their elected leaders.

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