New York City comptroller Scott Stringer just gave Uber a hand in its battle against Mayor Bill de Blasio.
At a press conference this afternoon, Stringer told reporters that a proposed vehicle cap — which would limit Uber’s growth in one of its biggest markets to just 201 cars in the next year — isn’t a good idea.
“It makes no sense to arbitrarily cap Uber and other for-hire vehicle companies before we study the impact of congestion on the streets of New York,” Stringer, a Democrat who has opposed de Blasio before, told reporters at his presser Tuesday.
“We need to make sure that our transportation system works for everyone, including the City’s traditional yellow cabs, for-hire drivers, and most importantly the riding public,” he added in a statement. “We need to think strategically about building out our transportation networks in a way that makes long-term sense for all New Yorkers.”
De Blasio and the city council have proposed a freeze on growth for for-hire vehicle companies, including Uber and Lyft. The city is conducting a study about congestion, traffic, and pollution, which it says Uber may be contributing to.
Uber and other critics of the proposed measure are quick to point out that this may not be a fight exclusively about traffic congestion. De Blasio’s mayoral campaign received more than $US250,000 from the taxi industry, which opposes Uber.
The proposed vehicle cap Uber is fighting could be voted upon as soon as this week.
If it were to become a law, the measure could stunt Uber’s growth in New York. This could significantly hurt the company as New York is one of the company’s largest and most mature markets and the company is generating hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue there.
Under the proposed bill, for-hire vehicle companies that have bases with 500 cars or more — which includes Uber — would only be able to increase their number of vehicles by 1% every year.
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