Uber isn't making New York City traffic any worse, report says

This summer, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio waged war against Uber, claiming that Uber and other for-hire vehicle companies were contributing to congestion and pollution in New York City.

De Blasio ordered a $2 million traffic study be conducted on the city to see whether Uber and Lyft were really contributing to the city’s traffic and congestion woes.

The study, which is due any day now, is expected to say that Uber, Lyft, and other for-hire services aren’t actually making New York City’s traffic any worse, the Wall Street Journal’s Andrew Tangel and Josh Dawsey report.

“It does not point the finger at Uber,” a person familiar with the study’s findings told the WSJ. The study was conducted by McKinsey & Co. and a former NYC transportation official.

Taxis have been forced to adapt and make changes because of Uber — including the introduction of their own ride-hailing app, called Arro. But the study, the Journal reports, won’t show that Uber has contributed to an increase in traffic in New York City.

New York City is one of Uber’s largest markets; the company generates hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue there.

It’s no secret that Uber is quashing taxis in New York City. In January, Uber had 27,630 affiliated cars, the Journal reports, while there are just 13,587 yellow cabs. There are countless stories like this one from Gothamist, about
the increasing number of abandoned taxis piling up on the streets of Brooklyn, highlighting the crushing effect Uber — and other for-hire vehicle services like Via and Lyft — have had on the taxi industry.

This summer, Uber waged a public battle against New York City mayor Bill de Blasio after he proposed a bill to limit the growth of for-hire vehicle companies such as Uber and Lyft.

To fight the proposed legislation, Uber pulled no punches. The company, which is far from conflict-averse, aggressively marketed itself as a service for minorities and outer-borough residents (two groups taxis are notoriously bad at serving) and as a means for New Yorkers to find gainful employment.

We’ve reached out to both City Hall and Uber for comment and will update this story when we hear back.

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