In a NY Daily News Op-Ed in July, 2015, Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio claimed “More than 2,000 new for-hire vehicles are being added to our streets every month, overwhelming the most congested parts of Manhattan” and made it his goal to “ensure that our streets aren't flooded with tens of thousands more cars before we can stand up new rules to govern the marketplace.”
He vowed to institute a cap on the number of ridesharing vehicles in New York City. In response, the mass of two million Uber users in NYC rose up in protest against the Mayor’s protectionist regulations.
De Blasio retreated and agreed to conduct a study before taking any actions. After much delay and procrastination from the Mayor’s office, the report was finally released on Friday.
He was wrong.
“Reductions in vehicular speeds are driven primarily by increased freight movement, construction activity, and population growth… Construction permits in the CBD [Central Business District] are up 6-7% since 2009 and pedestrian counts in the CBD are also up 18-24% since 2009.”
As for Uber:
“Increases in e-dispatch trips are largely substituting for yellow taxi trips in the CDB. Because these e-dispatch trips are substitutions and not new trips, they are not increasing VMT [vehicle miles traveled]. Additionally, there is no clear evidence to suggest decisive capacity effects driven specifically by e-dispatch pick-up, drop-off, and parking behaviors in the period. Therefore, e-dispatch does not appear to be driving the additional congestion.”
The delay in delivering the study is a slap in the face to New York City taxpayers who funded the $2 million report, which is probably why the Mayor’s office decided to dump the long-awaited study on the Friday before a three day holiday weekend.