New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has dropped his proposed bill that would have capped the growth of all for-hire vehicle companies like Uber. Instead of a regulation, the New York Times reports Uber and the Mayor’s office have agreed to a four-month study on the effect of ride-hailing’s impact on traffic congestion.
Under the proposed legislation, Uber’s growth would have been limited to 1 percent while the city conducted a much longer study. The city council was expected to vote on the bill on Thursday, but under the new agreement the vote is off. The Mayor’s office states, however, that it reserves the right to limit the company’s growth at a later date.
The move follows Uber’s massive campaign to fight the proposed bill. The company took out ads in the New York Times, gave free rides to attend a city hall protest, and managed to get A-list celebrities to publicly defend the ride-hailing service on Twitter, including Sports Illustrated model Kate Upton, Ashton Kutcher and Neil Patrick Harris. Moreover, Uber added a new feature to its app that let users see what the alleged wait time for an Uber car would be if the mayor's bill was passed.
As a result of the new agreement, Uber will be pulling the many anti–de Blasio online and TV ads. The ‘de Blasio option’ has also been removed from the company’s app.
New York is one of Uber’s biggest markets; the company has spent at least $225,000 on lobbying the mayor's office, the city council and the Taxi and Limousine Commission since 2014. It is estimated that Uber will generate $10 billion in revenue by the end of this year.