It is no secret that the relationship between ride-sharing company Uber and the bustling City of New York is anything but friendly. Recently New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio had announced that he was putting a cap on the number of new cars ride-sharing companies can bring into the city to help fight congestion. Uber did not take this announcement well as the company had originally planned to have as much as 10,000 new vehicles in New York City.
Today, it is safe to say that New York City and Uber are being civil with each other. Tech Reformer reports that New York City is holding an initial assembly this week for the newly formed Technology Advisory Group. This group is tasked to tackle a number of issues head on, including what to do next about ride sharing companies such as Uber and its primary competition, Lyft.
Making up the group are a number of representatives from the academe coming from New York University and Columbia. Moreover, the group will also feature members from various tech companies, venture capitalist Fred Wilson and also, representatives from Uber.
Together, this group will look closely at critical issues such as traffic congestion, accessibility, coverage of vehicles for hire, labor and safety. It is reported that New York City may change its mind about the cap provided Uber works with them in obtaining critical data on daily operations in New York City.
According to the Manhattan Institute, Uber currently holds as much as 90% of the ride-sharing market that is processed through a smartphone. Moreover, Uber has been gaining a greater market share around the area of Manhattan in the wake of licensing restrictions on for-hire vehicles. Meanwhile, cabs are also experiencing a decline in passengers in New York City. NYC’s population may be 20% larger than what it was back in 1937. But today, there are only 13,437 yellow cab medallions, compared to 16,900 back in the day.
Meanwhile, New Yorkers will be happy to know that the “Taxi of Tomorrow” program is already running throughout the streets. According to the Huffington Post, the City of New York had awarded a 10-year contract to Nissan worth $1 billion during the time of Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
As part of this contract, Nissan’s NV200 minivans will upgrade about 80% of New York’s current taxi fleet. The Ford Crown Victoria’s from 90’s will, in turn, be phased out. The new minivan provides passengers with modern comforts, including phone charger outlets and climate controls.