New York City Study to Find No Traffic Impact from Uber

January 14, 2016, 10:01 PM UTC
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SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 12: A sticker with the Uber logo is displayed in the window of a car on June 12, 2014 in San Francisco, California. The California Public Utilities Commission is cracking down on ride sharing companies like Lyft, Uber and Sidecar by issuing a warning that they could lose their ability to operate within the state if they are caught dropping off or picking up passengers at airports in California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Photograph by Justin Sullivan—Getty Images

Ride-hailing company Uber’s aggressive fight against New York City mayor Bill de Blasio last summer seems to be paying off: a long-awaited study on the company’s impact on the city’s traffic has concluded in Uber’s favor.

The $2 million study, which de Blasio commissioned last summer, is set to be released this week and has found that ride-hailing services haven’t significantly contributed to Manhattan’s street traffic, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal citing anonymous sources.

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The study grew out of a fight between the mayor and ride-hailing service Uber, after de Blasio put forth a proposal that would cap the number of new drivers that Uber, Lyft, Via, and Gett can add per year.

The original proposal would have capped the growth of each company with at least 500 cars to 1% of their fleet size per year—at least until the study could determine their impact on traffic. After an aggressive protest from Uber, the mayor agreed to let ride-sharing companies operate freely until the study was completed.

According to the Journal, the study was conducted by consulting firm McKinsey and a former city transportation official. It was performed using taxi and Uber trip data provided by the companies, and examined factors contributing to slower traffic in New York City’s main business districts. The study is expected to conclude that Uber’s growth has impacted the taxi and private car industry, but it has also been offset by a decline in taxi trips. However, if Uber continues to grow at its current pace, it could eventually affect the city’s traffic congestion, a source told the Journal.

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