Residents of New York City who use the Uber app will be surprised today to find a new option on the app, as “DE BLASIO” is listed next to the usual choices and it’s obviously not an option which hails a ride. Instead, the new option is a parody in response to New York City mayor’s proposed legislation that could seriously hamper Uber’s employees and growth efforts in the city.
Mayor de Blasio is pushing a bill that would place a cap on the number of drivers licenses available to companies like Uber, reports Wired. The City Council is expected to vote on the bill next week. The mayor and his administration argue that the bill will help with the traffic congestion in the city, but Uber and its employees claim that passing the bill would result in a loss of over 10,000 jobs.
Available only to New York City Uber users, the “de Blasio” feature shows a map that says, “No cars available.” When users click on that message, another screen appears which reads: “This is what Uber will look like in NYC if Mayor de Blasio’s Uber cap bill passes.”
Newsweek reports that the bill could result in double, or even triple, wait times for Uber rides and “more than 10,000 New Yorkers would lose job opportunities overnight.”
In a study of for-hire vehicles in New York City, it was found that over 23,000 vehicles were added to the market since 2011, leading to “impacts like congestion and decreased air quality of whose degree is unknown.” In response, NYC Council Transportation Committee Chairman Ydanis Rodriguez has introduced new legislation calling for the TLC to determine the impact of the for-hire vehicles industry on air quality, traffic, noise, and public health.
“Manhattan is already considered the county with the third highest risk of cancer caused by airborne chemicals,” said Rodriquez in a statement last month when the legislation was proposed.
With unprecedented growth in the for-hire sector, now more than ever, our city must evaluate what are the real negative impacts on our residents. Manhattan is already considered the county with the third highest risk of cancer caused by airborne chemicals.
In addition to the changes made to its app, Uber has also launched a television commercial in their efforts to stop the proposed cap on the number of drivers the company is allowed as a result of the proposed legislation which seeks to cap the number of drivers licenses given to companies such as theirs.
In other New York City news, on the anniversary of the death of Eric Garner, Mayor de Blasio said that Garner “did not die in vain.”