Remember last summer when Mayor de Blasio sparred with Uber, trying to lessen Uber's influence in the city?
There were those who thought de Blasio did so under pressure from the New York City Taxi Commission, and those who thought de Blasio's aims were more benign: to keep traffic in the city from escalating to a standstill.
The long-awaited $2 million traffic study that would determine whether Uber actually does congest NYC's streets are in, and the expensive results are ... drumroll ... that Uber actually doesn't significantly add to NYC's traffic.
As we suspected, the study was prompted by de Blasio's tiff with Uber in July, when de Blasio proposed capping Uber's growth, according to The Wall Street Journal.
How was the study funded? Great question! It was funded by the city, and conducted by the consulting firm McKinsey & Co. in tandem with a former transportation official. It was delayed for months while City Hall deliberated what to do about Uber.
We're guessing the city was hoping the study would reveal how terribly Uber is obstructing the streets, and could spark back up the debate about why Uber needs to go, though City Hall officials have previously said they want to avoid another Uber confrontation.
We're also guessing the city is itching to direct Uber's revenue flow into mass transit's funds.
"We all suffer for the collective congestion, and there has to be ways of regulating that in a market-force kind of way," said Lucius Riccio, a former city-transportation commissioner, but not the one who was involved in the study.
So why didn't Uber add to traffic in the city?
Apparently, according to someone familiar with the study, Uber's growth has been offset by fewer yellow taxi trips, though Uber may cause congestion problems in NYC if it continues to grow at its current trajectory.
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Uber has quadrupled its services in NYC in the past year. On the average day in August of 2015, Uber would deliver 106,986 trips, a number that was four times the number of trips on an average day in August 2014.
As of January 7th, the number of Uber affiliated vehicles in NYC was 27,630, officially higher than the number of yellow taxi's the city has it its fleet: 13,587.
Where do we stand in all this? We like riding in Ubers, and we like it even more when they don't cost a lot. The city has implemented an app to ride in cabs to catch up to Uber, but we haven't downloaded it. We don't need to; we have Uber.[via The Wall Street Journal] [Feature Image Courtesy Fortune]