Benjamin Parker’s “ Bill de Blasio’s Progressive War on Uber” (op-ed, Aug. 4) mischaracterizes the mayor’s position on Uber and the taxi industry. Mr. de Blasio, far from being at war with Uber, has totally jettisoned his progressive values by caving in to the tech giant’s pressure.
Last year, when the mayor tried to put a cap on the number of Uber vehicles in the city, he was met with a $10 million ad blitz and a sophisticated lobbying campaign that totally flummoxed him. Since that time he has disregarded the rights of the disabled. Uber, unlike taxis, has no accessible vehicles for New York City’s most challenged citizens. He has put forth a fraudulent traffic study that claims counterintuitively that 33,000 additional Uber cars won’t have any significant traffic or emissions impact, although an environmental review of a Bloomberg administration proposal to add 2,000 taxi medallions concluded that the additional cars would have a “significant adverse impact” on the environment and traffic. Mayor de Blasio has allowed Uber to exploit its “independent contractor drivers” which has led to a union-inspired revolt by the Taxi Workers Alliance.
In the process, over 6,000 immigrant single-medallion owners have had their equity in the medallions eviscerated. Far from waging a progressive war against Uber, Mayor de Blasio, cowed by the counterattack of the $60 billion-plus juggernaut, has given the company an “Uber exemption” that allows the company to continue to flout current regulations and spit in the face of New York’s disabled, its workers, hardworking immigrants and the environment. Some progressive warrior!
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