Los Angeles Times

N. Y. mayor rejects Uber’s debate invite

- By Tracey Lien tracey. lien @ latimes. com Twitter: @ traceylien

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio rejected Uber’s call to have a live debate about their difference­s on Monday, saying he doesn’t debate private corporatio­ns.

The invitation from the San Francisco on- demand transporta­tion company came after the New York City Council introduced a measure that would temporaril­y limit the number of new for- hire vehicle licenses the Taxi and Limousine Commission can issue while the city completes a study on theeffect of taxi cabs and for hire vehicles.

If passed, the measure would effectivel­y cap Uber’s and its competitor­s’ growth, limiting the number of new vehicles the ride- hailing companies can add to New York City’s roads.

In addition to inviting De Blasio to a live debate, Uber has accused themayor of stifling innovation. The company alleges that the measure is less about traffic congestion and more about appeasing the local taxicab industry, which has made contributi­ons to De Blasio’s campaign.

The company attacked De Blasio last week through its own app, giving New York passengers the option to choose a “De Blasio” Uber ride, where they were shown either no cars or wait times of 25 minutes. When users tapped through, they were redirected to a petition they could sign opposing the measure.

“Uber is a multibilli­ondollar corporatio­n, and they’re acting like one,” De Blasio said when he declined the invitation.

The City Council is expected to vote on the measure thisweek.

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