A funny thing happened on the way to Thursday’s now-canceled vote on a tough-talk City Hall threat to put the brakes on Uber’s unfettered growth: Gov. Andrew Cuomo came out against Mayor Bill Bill de Blasio’s plan.
Oops, he did it again,
It's the latest dustup in the ongoing rift between the two top New York Democrats.
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The city struck a deal with Uber late Wednesday, one day before the expected vote to hold off on a plan to cap the number of vehicles on city streets in exchange for company data from its app for a traffic study.
Postponing the vote is exactly what Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he was going to ask City Council President Melissa Mark-Viverito to do, in an end-run around the mayor.
Cuomo revealed his plan on WCNY’s Capitol Pressroom radio show .
“Uber is one of these great inventions, startups, of this new economy, and its taking off like fire to dry grass and it’s offering a great service for people and it’s giving people jobs,” the governor said.“I don’t think that government should be in the business of trying to restrict job growth, I don’t believe you can restrict job growth.”
Mayoral spokesman Wiley Norvell shot back at the governor.
“The issues here are serious for our city — protecting workers and passengers, fair service for people with disabilities, supporting public transit, addressing rising congestion,” he said. “No one should be manufacturing pretexts for avoiding those pressing issues.”
He also tweeted: “Uber’s Numbers Still Show It’s Making Traffic Worse”
Uber today: 10,000 will be unemployed. Uber yesterday: vast majority of Uber drivers, they or their spouse have other full-time employment.— Wiley Norvell (@WileyNorvell) July 22, 2015
The mayor blames Uber for a huge increase in traffic.
Cuomo said that his administration has “worked very hard to create jobs” and Uber is doing that -- the same exact message in Uber’s massive TV ad campaign that portrays the yellow taxi cab industry, which backs the mayor, as racist and Uber as not because of its willingness to transport people of color.
Bronx Borough PresidentRuben Diaz Jr. also got behind Uberin the showdown.
“Technology has significantly changed the taxi industry in this city, and a study of that impact is certainly warranted. However, such a study should be enacted prior to placing any caps on growth on any segment of the taxi industry,” Diaz said in a statement.
“The legislation before the City Council is flawed, and would have the unintended consequence of inhibiting the growth of the livery car services my borough and much of the city relies on for transportation.
“The legislation concerning a cap on growth should be withdrawn, and a thorough study of Uber and the entire industry should be done before any cap is considered. I look forward to participating in such a study, and will continue to engage with all sides of the debate on this issue in the future,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.”