New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio rejected Uber’s calls to have a live debate about their differences on Monday, saying he doesn’t debate private corporations.
The invitation from the San Francisco on-demand transportation company came after the New York City Council introduced a bill that would temporarily limit the number of new for-hire vehicle licenses the Taxi and Limousine Commission can issue while the city completes a study on the effect of taxicabs and for-hire vehicles.
If passed, the bill would effectively cap Uber’s and its competitors’ growth, limiting the number of new vehicles the ride-hailing companies can add to New York City’s roads.
In addition to inviting De Blasio to a live debate, Uber has accused the mayor of stifling innovation, alleging that the bill is less about traffic congestion and more about appeasing the local taxicab industry, which has made contributions to De Blasio’s campaign.
The company attacked De Blasio last week through its own app, giving passengers in NYC the option to choose a “De Blasio” Uber ride, where they were shown either no cars or wait times of 25 minutes. When users tapped through, they were redirected to a petition they could sign opposing the bill.
“Uber is a multibillion-dollar corporation, and they’re acting like one,” De Blasio said when he declined the invitation.
The City Council is expected to vote on the bill this week.
By: Tracey Lien