New York City

City postpones cap on Uber’s growth pending study

Four-month reprieve

July 22, 2015 By Mary Frost
Uber drivers and supporters rally with signs during a press conference outside City Hall on June 30. AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews
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Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration announced Wednesday a deal that postpones a cap on Uber’s growth for four months. During that period, Uber has agreed to a study on the impact of its cars on traffic and the environment.

Uber also committed to making more of its vehicles handicap-accessible and to turn over additional data to the city about its rides.

The mayor and the City Council had wanted to impose a one-year cap while studying the ride-hailing service’s impact on traffic.

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According to testimony by Democratic Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez on June 30, the number of e-hail taxis on the city’s roads has nearly tripled in the last 18 months.

“Today the administration, City Council and Uber have agreed to a framework that will advance the city’s vital policy goals for passengers, drivers and the public,” First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris said in a statement. “It sets in motion a plan to guide a comprehensive and fair public response, driven by data, to the increase in for-hire vehicles. And it ensures that the future growth of this industry matches the values and the interests of New Yorkers.”

Uber will share information for the study “above and beyond what has previously been provided, with safeguards to protect privacy,” Shorris said.

He added, “Uber has also agreed to maintain its approximate current rate of growth and not flood the streets with new licenses and vehicles.”

Uber NYC General Manager Josh Mohrer, in a statement, called the agreement great news.

“We’re pleased to have reached an agreement with Mayor de Blasio’s administration and the City Council to collaborate on a joint transportation study and to work together on ways to continue expanding economic opportunity, mobility and transportation access in the city. We are pleased new drivers will continue to be free to join the for-hire industry and partner with Uber. Together, we can build an even better, more reliable transportation system.”

 “This agreement allows for a study on the impact of this industry, greater data-sharing, and a commitment to advancing accessibility for people with disabilities; all of these are positive developments on which we can build in the future,” Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said.

He called companies like Uber and Lyft “an important part of our transportation landscape.”

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