A new poll released on Monday shows that New York City voters think political donations from the yellow-taxi industry have motivated efforts to limit growth of the Uber ride-sharing service.
According to Qunnipiac University, only 18% of voters say the crackdown on Uber growth is in the best interest of the city. And the voters aren’t concerned that more Uber drivers will lead to more traffic congestion: 53% say limiting Uber drivers will not reduce traffic problems.
But liberal Mayor de Blasio never met a growing industry he didn’t want to snuff out with regulations. “The Quinnipiac University poll comes just weeks after Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio dropped a plan to impose a yearlong cap on Uber’s expansion in the face of a $3 million ad campaign that accused him, in part, of being beholden to yellow-cab donors.”
The reason to interfere with industry always has a noble pretense: a de Blasio spokesperson says the mayor is working with legislators to “improve” a variety of issues like safety and driver pay.
Some taxi cab industry donors say they are in the dark regarding any “influence peddling.”
“If our campaign contributions were influencing anything, I’m not sure what it is,” said Arthur Schwartz, a spokesman for Melrose Credit Union.
An official at that organization, David “Taxi Dave” Pollack, bundled more than $80,000 in donations for de Blasio, according to records.
Schwartz said his coalition of 5,300 taxi medallion owners opposed the mayor’s one-year ban on Uber growth.
And Uber is cooperating. “Uber has agreed to turn over ride data to city officials, who also want the company to contribute funds to the transit network, in exchange for taking off the cap during a four-month study of the company’s impact on traffic.”