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De Blasio Administration Reaches Deal With Uber

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The administration of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is dropping plans to cap the number of new drivers added by Uber and similar services — at least for now.

De Blasio’s team previously proposed limiting transportation companies to growth of 1 percent of their driver pool (in Uber’s case, that amounts to around 200 new drivers) over the next year, while the government studied the impact these services have on traffic congestion.

Under the new agreement, the study will last for four months, and it won’t come with a driver cap. (Of course that doesn’t rule out the possibility of a cap in the future.) The deal was first reported in The New York Times.

In a statement, First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris outlined the agreement:

Specifically, the City will move forward with a traffic study, to conclude at the end of November, to examine the impact of Uber and the for-hire vehicle industry on traffic congestion on New York City streets. Uber will share information for the study above and beyond what has previously been provided, with safeguards to protect privacy. Uber has also agreed to maintain its approximate current rate of growth and not flood the streets with new licenses and vehicles. In addition to the traffic study, the City and transportation stakeholders will participate in a larger review of the entire taxi, FHV and livery industries, with a particular focus on revenue for public transit, consumer protections, driver and employee protections, and accessibility for people with disabilities. The cap legislation currently before the City Council will be tabled throughout the traffic study process

Uber had been pushing back against de Blasio’s plan, with efforts including a City Hall protest, a big ad on The New York Times homepage and a feature criticizing de Blasio in the Uber app itself.

In a statement, Uber’s New York City General Manager Josh Mohrer said:

We’re pleased to have reached an agreement with Mayor de Blasio’s administration and the City Council to collaborate on a joint transportation study and to work together on ways to continue expanding economic opportunity, mobility and transportation access in the city. We are pleased new drivers will continue to be free to join the for-hire industry and partner with Uber. Together, we can build an even better, more reliable transportation system. This is great news for all New Yorkers, including Uber riders and drivers.