New Kids On the Block

New York’s New Taxi Plan Could Be Bad, Bad News for Uber

5901327519 cd9fe53e66 z New Yorks New Taxi Plan Could Be Bad, Bad News for Uber
(flickr.com/henriquev)

Uber, the application that lets you order a car service from your phone, has had trouble gaining traction and establishing reliable service in New York City, where being able to navigate the city’s byzantine transportation system is a badge of honor that demarcates real New Yorkers from the newbies and the tourists.

Now the startup has a new challenge: a recently-announced taxi plan to add 2,000 yellow cabs while also permitting 18,000 livery cabs to pick up street hails.

The latter provision could actually be good for Uber, as it reduces the number of cars on demand with a phone call; but the former is pretty bad. And in general, more cabs on the street and a more open market leaves less room for the disruptor from San Francisco.

Another plan provision that is still being negotiated could also screw Uber–Governor Andrew Cuomo is considering adding conditions that would force a certain percentage of cars to be wheelchair-accessible, at $40,000 per car with a $15,000 subsidy. Uber did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Uber’s New York office had some nasty turnover: two of three employees abruptly resigned in September, just four months after the office opened. They’ve been replaced and now the startup is launching in cities abroad as competitors like Groundlink chase its tail.

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