By on January 15, 2016

Over the summer, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Uber drivers were making Manhattan traffic worse and commissioned a $2 million study to prove it.

Except it didn’t.

According to the Wall Street Journal, findings from the report will show that ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft haven’t significantly increased congestion in Manhattan, but it might if it continues its current trajectory.

So, what else do you have?

The report is fodder for a growing debate between city officials and ride-sharing services that could be sapping public transit money from large cities. How New York officials plan on taxing or reducing ride-sharing permits to keep from bankrupting buses and subway systems could become a blueprint for other cities later on.

Last year, the National Resources Defense Council’s Urban Solution program said it would study the impact that more Uber/Lyft cars on the road is having on the environment.

One solution, according to the Wall Street Journal, may be to incentivize carpooling for ride-sharing services to cut down on single-passenger trips.

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48 Comments on “Report: Uber Hasn’t Made New York Traffic Worse, But It Could...”

  • avatar

    Well, as Uber grows and taxis fade away, the numbers will normalize. People aren’t taking both, they’re doing one or the other. There’s always overlap with a new type of product, until use of the old one is minimized.

    Cassettes shared equal shelf space with CDs for a while, too. And it was crowded in there.

  • avatar

    Bill de Blasio would make NYC better by leaving. Heck, I don’t even live in the same time zone as the guy and I know he’s a jerk.

    At least Michael Bloomberg could plausibly have been Batman.

    • 0 avatar

      If you’re a New Yorker – you already know Blasio is a 1 term mayor.

      Parading his wife and son around aren’t gonna help him one bit.

      The ONLY THING I TRULY NEED THIS YEAR however is for TRUMP TO WIN over Hillary and that communist Sanders. After that – the dominoes of liberalism will be knocked down so hard that welfare cards will shudder.

      • 0 avatar

        BTSR and his ‘New York Values’.

        You know when Ted Cruz is insulting your ethos, you have problems…

      • 0 avatar

        So, big trucks, are you going to move out of the country when Hillary/Sanders wins? Or can we make a side bet and I get your hellcat? I’m pretty sure the polling numbers are accurate and put Trump & Cruz collectively in the single digits of possible victory (routes are so narrow you can barely get a sheet of paper through them).

        • 0 avatar

          I’m not going to let the commies win.
          I’m not moving anywhere.
          Hillary and commy sanders are going to get DEMOLISHED in November.

          • 0 avatar

            Sure…….Ok. So you’re already at a 7% electorate disadvantage and a 30-40 electoral vote disadvantage. The path to victory is taking 4-5 of the 6-7 remaining swing states and Democrats need roughly three to win, not even that depending on what column you put Virginia in.

            Basically, I would ask this of anyone, let alone a Trump/Cruz supporter, what state do you start peeling off from 2012 numbers that net you 60 total electoral votes that you need to win.

            The three most obvious choices are Florida, Ohio, and Virginia (ALL OF THEM) and well…that’s just highly unlikely. Ohio or Florida is possible with a smart ‘local boy’ choice (Rubio for Florida, Kasich for Ohio) but the path to victory in Virginia is CRAZY SMALL. Single digit path to victory for Virginia. Otherwise the other two best options are Michigan and Wisconsin. Michigan was won by 500K and Wisconsin by 200K in 2012 by Obama.

            North Carolina is a possible flip for Democrats at less than 100K.

            Never mind that the reports are in that clearly show Obama lost between 2-3% of the white vote by virtue of being Black. Hillary and Sanders won’t lose that and right there, presuming that these three states are on par 60% white, you can safely add between 50-110K to each of those states to overcome. This is again completely ignoring the most resilient Republican voters are 4 years further removed (and likely closer to death).

            The path to victory is truly narrow for Republicans….

          • 0 avatar


            I always hedge my bets.

            I’m doing just fine. I worked when Clinton was in office. I worked when Bush was in office. I worked to this day and the “President” doesn’t really matter.

            If one of those COMMUNISTS gets in, I’ll simply buy a Hellcat using welfare money that those COMMUNIST TRASH are handing out.


            Donald Trump IS NOT A REPUBLICAN.
            I sit back and stare IN AWE of the things he says and his ridiculous rise in polls – as well as his ridiculous masses of followers. Conventional logic dictates that JUST THE STATEMENTS ABOUT MEGHAN KELLY should have ENDED his campaign.

            But this is completely different.

            Trump’s Victory lies in:

            #1 the number of terrorist attacks between now and November.

            #2 The number of jobs lost between now and November under Obama (Macy’s and Walmart already started laying off)

            #3 Whether or not the Fed’s allowance of rates to rise allows the 2008 recession to continue (since all they did was pause it) and

            #4 HOW ANGRY WE THE PEOPLE ARE on the day BEFORE election day.

            I travel all over the world. I’ve lived in Shanghai., I’ve seen their Maglev train. I recently was in Dubai.Meanwhile this country is in decline while the rest of the world is building megastructures. All because of a two party system where both parties take turns robbing the bank and driving the getaway Hellcat.



          • 0 avatar

            But 9/11… that seems to be the immediate response to any criticism of NY.

            Wall Street bankers… but but 9/11.

          • 0 avatar

            And when confronted with reality BTSR retreats into fantasy land. I’m satisfied…

          • 0 avatar

            You just have to love “I HATE COMMUNISTS…but Shanghai tho”.

      • 0 avatar

        BTSR – you don’t need Trump You need Cruz.

        Since he is Canadian, you will get better beer. More back bacon. Cold Canadian winters – there goes global warming. And universal health care. You will love it !

        • 0 avatar

          It is pretty funny when people use the “China gets things done” argument and then decry an American Democratic Socialist as a Communist. The Chinese are actual Communists, not the boogieman kind :).

  • avatar
    Roberto Esponja

    “…and commissioned a $2 million study to prove it.”

    Congrats, New Yorkers, for electing yet another clown (and you’ve really outdone yourselves with this one).

  • avatar
    an innocent man

    I think that you mean de Blasio commissioned a study to show that he needs more money from the taxi cartel.

  • avatar

    To all the Obama haters out there. It could be much worse, much much worse. DeBlasio is the worst type of hypocritical sociopath. For instance he put speed camera’s and red light cameras all over the city and lowered the speed limit to 25, while taking his motorcade to work at 60mph. Or apologizing to Muslims for any hardship they might suffer after San Bernardino. Bloomberg the billionaire, took the subway, btw. New York taxi’s have always been awful, Uber allows you to get a ride if your someone other than white guy in a suit. Thankfully he is almost certainly a one term mayor. Even the lowest common denominator he panders too is seeing through him now, he is about to drop below 30% approval..

  • avatar

    “New York officials plan on taxing or reducing ride-sharing permits to keep from bankrupting buses and subway systems could become a blueprint for other cities later on.”

    If the public want to use ride sharing instead of taking the bus, why not? Limit ride sharing so the public have no choice but to take the bus? Huh? The city could save a lot of money by reducing the bus routes as ride sharing takes the traffic away from them. WHy spend money on providing a service fewer and fewer people actually want?

    Things are changing, resistance is futile.

  • avatar

    I don’t know of a solution for NYC traffic congestion but closing major thru streets to setup effing lawn furniture is not it, neither is having bicycle paths absorb entire vehicle lanes.

  • avatar

    Tip to Cole: Don’t post a link to a statement that doesn’t support your argument, it just makes you look bad. I get that your comment section is the Trump/Cruz brigade but reality still has a bite.

    Somewhere in the sea of links there may be a reference to De Blasio outright claiming Uber was increasing traffic congestion but your current link doesn’t provide that and it seems pretty clear he would only be suggesting that if he went ahead and put together a two million dollar study to verify it.

    Never mind that the study more or less points out what is likely on the way to happening as yellow cabs remain for the average joes who can’t afford the more expensive uber/lyft model. Never mind we’re heading right back towards private enterprise boom/bust cycles as uber fights to dismantle the taxis services just to raise fares when they cease to be.

    I’m more interested to see if Uber can survive a court battle for their entire fleet of ‘independent contractors’ since that seems like a hail mary even with a conservative court. If they’re forced to act like a regular corporation this whole ‘disruption’ via ICs is likely to collapse.

    • 0 avatar

      Where does Uber or Lyft cost more than a taxicab? On your campus? Plus, they pick up everyone; not just non-threatening white people.

    • 0 avatar

      I hope to see uber lose its argument over the employment status of those drivers. 1099’ing your daily work force is simply a way of transferring employment costs to the taxpayer. 1099 only works out for everyone when the take home is fairly high.

      However, they will still have a substantial cost advantage over the medallion fleets bc of their non-participation in the medallion marketplace. Nyc is skimming, not effectively regulating, their cab and food cart industry through refusals to adjust certificate/medallion availability. They are paid and encouraged to do so by the existing holders of the medallions. None of it is helpful at all to consumers or drivers.

      • 0 avatar

        This is where I actually agree, the medallion system is broken since they’really treated as landlord investments and not a true regulatory practice. So you end up with two broken systems that benefit no one but a few investors.

  • avatar

    NYC has a taxi and limousine commission that has simply outlived it’s usefulness. Given how poorly it had managed and abused its authority under Bloomberg, and the overly conservative reaction it has had to changes in its marketplace under this mayor, it needs a frame up rebuild. It’s not evil, there will be a need for a regulatory body here, but the t&lc is simply not positioned to accomplish that task as it exists today.

    A lot of ny’ers will never forgive their budget driven abuses of authority in the recent past. Unlike say, the nypd, no one supports them personally enough to justify a slow rebuilding. Raze it.

  • avatar

    How times have changed. Progressive these days means doing exactly opposite – fighting trying to stop progress and force society back to the stone age (or to Dark Ages like in Europe). I wonder when De Blazzio decides to outlaw Internet.

    • 0 avatar

      Prohibition, the eugenics movement, locking up journalists…all progressive policies. I’d say it means pretty much the same thing today.

    • 0 avatar

      Hoe true. Nazis and Bolsheviks also were “progressives”. They tried to build new Utopia for working class and destroy religion. Tens of million of peoples and deepest depressions happened after progressive came to power in Europe and US. Interesting is that all these disruptive companies that progressive movement hates so much themselves are staunch progressive.

      • 0 avatar

        Er, the Nazis were a right-wing movement. (The appeal to tradition and social Darwinism are dead giveaways.)

        You guys should avoid political commentary. You just aren’t that good at it.

        • 0 avatar

          Wrong. Nazis were social-democrats initially before transforming into national-socialists and presented themselves as a workers party and were competing with communists and won support of German workers. Hitler himself was a socialist just like Bernie and was a champion of common man and enemy of wealthy.

          • 0 avatar

            Er, no. The Nazis ran on an appeal to tradition, which is one of the things that distinguishes right from left. (The left wants progress, the right wants to return to the glories of the past.)

            The Nazis were social Darwinists, which is also another feature of the right. (The left believes in social leveling, the right argues for some individuals being better or more deserving than others.)

            The fact that you don’t know the difference between right and left disqualifies you from labeling anyone. Just give it up and do something else that matches your skill set.

          • 0 avatar

            I thought Darwinism was a progressive idea (in contrast to creationism and all humans being created by God). And what is DeBlazio trying to do? He is as traditional as you can be in New York – going back to “liberal values” with crime, riots and etc associated with that. Will not work in 21st century though – time have changed.

          • 0 avatar

            No, Darwinism ≠ Social Darwinism.

            Darwinism = Ascribing to the scientific theory of evolution.

            Social Darwinism = A social theory that a social hierarchy (“survival of the fittest”) plays a rightful role in shaping society.

            Again, stick to cars. This is a car website, after all.

          • 0 avatar

            Both were and are flip sides of the same statist coin.

            “In political science, statism is the belief that the state should control either economic or social policy, or both, to some degree.[1] Statism is effectively the opposite of anarchism,[1] an individual who supports the existence of the state is a statist.”


          • 0 avatar

            There are left-wing anarchists and right-wing anarchists.

            There are left-wing totalitarians and right-wing totalitarians.

            The difference between left and right is not more government vs. less government.

          • 0 avatar

            “Here’s a million Reichsmarks..

            Call someone who cares.”

            – T. von Tritt

          • 0 avatar

            “Again, stick to cars. This is a car website, after all.”

            Or what? You will send me to Gulag?Interesting how “progressives” love to give us mortals advice how to live our lives but never follow it themselves.

          • 0 avatar

            “Or what? You will send me to Gulag?”

            Or I’ll continue to belittle you for coming to this website and continually looking foolish. That’s entertaining for me, but it can’t be good for you.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            “I thought Darwinism was a progressive idea (in contrast to creationism and all humans being created by God)”

            Science wept.

          • 0 avatar

            At this point, it’s not a matter of left vs. right, but of factually accurate vs. utterly stupid.

          • 0 avatar


            It is worth reading the account of someone who actually lived through the rise of Hitler in Austria. Progressivism transcends right v. left. It is about humanism while destroying the value of individual human lives, about rejecting Christianity and civilization, and about power concentrated in the unaccountable few. Read what the Nazis did in Austria. Tell me all about how it is exactly what evangelicals or the NRA really want. The Nazis aren’t staring back from my mirror.

          • 0 avatar

            If I may on the nazi dog whistling. You guys should knock it off. The first claim was dark wing clearly drawing a comparison between democrats and hitler. This is not only stupid, it’s counterproductive. Pch for his part is maybe having too much fun skewering inside out for the disturbing admission that he doesn’t understand the difference between biological evolution and social darwinism. Hint, conflating social darwinism with darwinism is what put the religious right off of evolution in the first place (there is no truer anti-charity position), not the idiotic fundamentalist argument that “I didn’t come from no monkey!”

            Dark wings original comment was stupid bc the idea that a psychopath authoritarian racist is clearly mirroring only one of our parties is absurd. You can find common threads in both. The Republicans are clearly employing the exonophobic appeal arguments that hitler used to rally his populist movement, there is no seriously arguing against that. It’s exactly why the Jewish community as a whole hasn’t been receptive to their politics until recently. It’s the only reason the Hispanic community doesn’t vote republican en mass. The dems for their part tend to appeal to economic populism in a non constructive way, again, just like the nazi rise. The common thread here is populism, not hitler, not genocide.

      • 0 avatar

        Is that you, Glenn Beck?

    • 0 avatar

      Inside out

      In the politically important parts of the north east I find that voters with a conservative temperment are more likely to vote Democrat. It is the incumbent party locally, the main stream is fully on board for gay rights, and woman’s health issues are given extremely high priority (bc daughters do go to college). The idea of a “Mrs degree” is met with pure scorn.

      In that context it makes sense that local democrats are conservative in reaction to changes in the economic status quo. Modern republican party politics are also dominated by the civil war between evangelicals and libertarians. These democrats see many libertarian positions as radical off shoots of traditional liberal thinking. The religious right are seen as a radical appeal to turn back the clock several generations in terms of social issues, not holding the line.

      Democrats misunderstand republican politics in exactly the same manner, not realizing how a Santorum type could be seen as conserving anything.

  • avatar

    I’m glad that I live in a small community that has a resourceful government respectful of the taxpayer. The result for my wife and I is a low tax bill.

    Granted, $2m in a city of 8m is a drop in the bucket but it still adds up. The reason behind it all is pointless for any amount of money, even for $500, or for that matter, $5. Instead of singling out Uber or whatever, use the $2m to improve roads in a physical sense–hard hat workers shoveling away. It won’t go far but it’s the concept. It’s not just Uber. There’s a bigger picture.

    The other issue is the fact that the “research” will be slanted in favor of the existing taxi companies and NYC’s municipal transit system. This “research” will encapsulate the acts of protectionism and crony “capitalism”. They’ll convince the public that it’s all Uber’s fault and get them up in arms. Individuals who take part in Uber and all of the other ride-share networks will then face stiff regulation and pay substantial taxes and fees, finding it harder to justify being part of Uber or other ride-share networks.

    Sound familiar?

    It will all be by design–instead of embracing competition and free markets, we’ll destroy free enterprise.

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