Like many cities, New York City has a powerful contingent that's none too pleased with Uber and other on-demand ride services.
The City Council is set to vote on a proposal that would cap Uber, putting a freeze on new drivers. According to the bill, the reason for the freeze is so the city can run a study on traffic patterns.
Of course, Uber says the move is "less about traffic congestion than it is about political contributions.”
As the NYT puts it, "the yellow-cab industry, which includes some of Mr. de Blasio’s most prolific campaign contributors, has pressured the administration to clamp down on Uber, a grave threat to owners amid the faltering values of the yellow-taxi medallion."
The bill, which has the backing of the Taxi and Limousine Commission, also has the support of another powerful NYC entity – the mayor.
Bill de Blasio is throwing his weight behind the measure, citing concerns over worsening Manhattan traffic.
And Uber is trolling the hell out of him.
In New York City, Uber has added a new ride option inside its app – the "de Blasio"
— Forbes Tech News (@ForbesTech) July 16, 2015
It's not a real ride option, of course, just a way for Uber to show how long it would take to get a ride if de Blasio's Uber freeze went into effect.
Uber hopes that it will prompt people to speak out on Uber's behalf.
"Mayor de Blasio and members of the City Council are supporting a bill that would cap Uber in New York City. This means that wait times for Uber rides would double or even triple, and more than 10,000 New Yorkers would lose job opportunities overnight," says Uber in an online petition.
"Riders would experience less reliable service in the form of longer wait times and higher prices. Services like uberPOOL would also suffer, potentially reversing any traction gained on using carpool rideshare options to target congestion
"New York overall would not see reduction in congestion from capping for-hire vehicles using Uber but instead would halt progress made through technological innovation over the past few years. Uber’s technology has helped expand service to those who were previously underserved, providing a safe and reliable transportation option to all New Yorkers while looking to a future with fewer cars on the roads — not more."
The council vote is expected as early as next week.