All Hail Another Big Win: NYC Paves Way for UberTAXI
I can’t believe it was just last week that Uber had one of it’s biggest regulatory victories in a major city.
But just nine days after Washington DC’s government reversed its Uber opposition and unanimously passed a regulatory framework for digital dispatch, Uber passengers have won again.
Today, New York City’s government overcame its own reticence and overwhelmingly passed a plan to bring the nation’s largest taxi market into the 21st century. New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission — a regulatory board that historically has seen its role as protecting the status quo — will launch a year-long pilot program to let New Yorkers and visitors alike use their phones to connect with yellow cab drivers blocks or miles away. For New Yorkers, this means that Uber can get you a taxi along with the black car service you know and love.
We already know how this pilot will turn out. As you may remember, New York City’s first experiment in e-hailing yellow cabs was only a couple months ago. Along with quite a bit of controversy there was enormous, unprecedented demand from New Yorkers who used it to get a yellow cab dispatched to them for the first time in decades. Drivers who found themselves in neighborhoods far from midtown Manhattan were finding riders they never had before – and were earning hundreds of dollars a week more than before – helping them make a far better living. But obstacles and roadblocks, and politics got in the way and six weeks ago we ended our ambitious e-hail experiment.
Now, UberTAXI’s return is imminent.
We cleared this pro-innovation, pro-consumer, pro-driver milestone today for two big reasons.
First, just like in DC last week, this victory came from everything loyal Uber users and fans in New York and around the country did. You made your voices heard in the media and via Twitter, Facebook and e-mail. You kept the #UberNYCLove alive.
And, second, the city government listened. Mayor Mike Bloomberg — himself a technology pioneer who saw how a storied old industry needed to be reinvented for a digital age — pushed for changes. And his Taxi and Limousine chief, David Yassky, got it done.
The Bloomberg Administration has spent much of the last decade building New York City into one of the great tech centers of the country and the world. And because of the shared vision of the Mayor and Commissioner Yassky, the efforts to use data and technology to improve transportation on the most crowded streets in the county took a huge step forward today. The core of the Big Apple’s government responded.
I can’t tell you how much it means to Uber to be able to work with leaders with a strong vision for innovation and progress. So please take a few minutes today to thank Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Yassky in the form of a tweet or a Facebook post. Send them some #UberNYCLove.
Co-founder and CEO
Uber Technologies, Inc.