Anti-consumer choice advocates were defeated once again in the ongoing war to regulate Uber into oblivion. Uber declared yet another over NYC Mayor DeBlasio and the city’s cab cartel Wednesday.
Under the guise of wanting to monitor Uber’s effect on NYC traffic flow, DeBlasio failed to whip the requisite number of votes to pass legislation that would’ve limited new for-hire vehicle licenses.
The Wall Street Journal reports:
Uber, for instance, would only be able to add 201 cars over the next year, a pittance compared with the area’s about 20,000 drivers offering some 100,000 rides a day. The ostensible purpose was to allow the city Transportation Department time to study how such services affect traffic congestion.
The real motivation was taxi interests. The price of New York taxi licenses, known locally as medallions, has dropped nearly a quarter in recent years from a high of $1.3 million in 2013, as more consumers switch to summoning a car on a smartphone instead of hailing a cab. This is called competition, and taxis want to recoup market share by stifling alternatives.
Mayor de Blasio and the far-left City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito went along for the ride despite their supposedly progressive politics. It must be a coincidence, comrade, that the yellow taxi industry has lavished campaign contributions on both of them.
But the influx of Uber cars is only adding to NYC’s traffic congestion, right? Hardly.
As for congestion, Uber makes up less than 1% of cars on the road. Politicians blamed ride-sharing services by showing that speeds in Manhattan have slowed 0.84 mph since 2010, to 8.5 miles an hour. What they didn’t mention is that average speeds hovered around 8.5 miles an hour in 2008, before the recession took cars off the road for a few years.
Uber refused to go down without a fight and launched a hilarious “DeBlasio” feature on its app:
Uber punched back, debuting a “ DeBlasio” feature on its app that showed how today’s two-minute wait for a ride could turn into half an hour, and blasting out ads. Soon enough the public that has grown accustomed to using this convenient service piled on, and disapproval ranged from model Kate Upton to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
DeBlasio and Uber were able to reach an agreement, temporarily halting DeBlasio’s battle against consumer choice.
But DeBlasio isn’t the only Progressive out to smite Uber and others innovators in the ride-share industry.
Hillary Clinton not so subtly railed against Uber, entrepreneurialship, and part-time work.
In a speech given on July 13, Clinton said, “Many Americans are making extra money renting out a small room, designing websites, selling products they design themselves at home, or even driving their own car. This on-demand, or so-called ‘gig economy,’ is creating exciting opportunities and unleashing innovation. But it’s also raising hard questions about workplace protections and what a good job will look like in the future.”
There is nothing progressive about continued attacks on progress. But if income generating innovation so dearly beloved by millennials is the hill on which Democrats like Clinton and DeBlasio want to wage their anti-consumer choice war, they can go right ahead. I’ll bring the popcorn.
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