Mayor Bill de Blasio says he won. He’s dropping his attempt to cap Uber’s growth; the app ride giant has agreed to turn over some data, and to discuss contributing to the MTA budget and possibly adding “worker and consumer protections.” Depending on the details — like how much money might go to public transit, which remains to be negotiated — those are indeed good things.
But it’s a bruising win. The editorial pages of all three city dailies called the mayor’s cap a bad idea; Uber dropped millions of dollars’ worth of TV and web attack ads on de Blasio; and over the past several days, a series of elected officials — Ruben Diaz Jr. and Eric Adams; city comptroller Scott Stringer; and Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, who de Blasio’s rivals are promoting as a 2017 mayoral contender — came out against the cap. Today the political momentum crested with de Blasio’s good buddy, Governor Andrew Cuomo, praising Uber as “one of these great inventions … I don’t think government should be in the business of trying to restrict job growth.”
The city will conduct a four-month traffic study and says it might pursue a cap again if Uber doesn’t live up to its end of the bargain. It’s hard to imagine, though, the mayor stepping in front of this moving vehicle again anytime soon.