A deal was struck between New York City and Uber on the eve of a City Council vote that could have placed a cap on the number of cars the ride-hailing company can have on the streets of the nation’s largest city.
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration announced Wednesday that Uber agreed to a four-month study on the impact of the cars on traffic and the environment. Under the deal, the city will not cap Uber’s growth during those four months.
The agreement contrasts with the legislation the council was set to vote on Thursday that called for a one percent cap on Uber’s growth within the city during a yearlong study. Uber firmly opposed any cap, and the company and City Hall had traded increasing nasty barbs over the past week.
But the hostilities were set aside to announce the surprise arrangement, which also includes commitments from Uber to make more of its vehicles handicap-accessible and to turn over data to the city on the location and duration of its rides.
Uber, a $40 billion company, has become a dominant force on the streets of New York, dispatching 25,000 cars compared to 13,000 of the city’s iconic yellow taxis.
The de Blasio administration had pushed for a cap, citing concern over increased traffic. When talks broke down last week, the sniping reached a frenzy with expensive ad campaigns that have blanketed the airwaves.
Though most observers believe the bill would have passed, de Blasio’s position appeared to weaken as Uber depicted him as too influenced by the yellow taxi industry, which ranks among his biggest donors.