New York City has dropped its plans to limit the number of Uber cars operating in the city.
Instead of the cap, the taxi hailing app has agreed to take part in a four-month study looking at the impact of its cars on traffic and pollution in the city.
In return, New York said it would not impose a car limit for this period.
The move comes the day before a city council vote, which could have seen the cap imposed.
The deal NYC has struck with Uber appears weaker than the legislation in the vote, which called for a 1% cap on the company’s growth in the city and a year-long study.
In a statement, Uber said it welcomed the agreement.
“We are pleased new drivers will continue to be free to join the for-hire industry and partner with Uber. Together, we can build an even better, more reliable transportation system,” said Josh Mohrer, Uber NYC’s general manager.
Since being founded in San Francisco in 2009, Uber has grown into a huge ridesharing enterprise – with services now offered in more than 200 cities.
However, in many cities, local cab companies and drivers have staged protests against the service.
In New York, complaints have centered around the idea that Uber has become too dominant, overtaking the city’s iconic yellow taxis.
Uber has been fined $7.3 million in California for not giving regulators enough information about its service and operations.
A judge at the California Public Utilities Commission – the regulator that allows the company to operate in the state – said Uber had not filed all the reports required by the body.
The taxi booking app was accused of withholding details on incidents such as accidents.
Uber has been involved in legal battles around the world over its operations.
The San Francisco based company’s services in cities such as Portland, Oregon have been suspended after a disagreement with the city, while its service of offering unlicensed taxi drivers has been banned in countries like Germany and Italy.
Uber’s app allows passengers to request rides from drivers in the area and its fares are generally lower than those of traditional taxis.
The company has also been accused of not giving data on how often it provided access to disabled passengers in California.
Uber has defended its operations in the state by saying it has given enough information to the commission.
After the ruling, Uber said that it would appeal against the decision.
Uber has up to 30 days to appeal before its license to operate in California is suspended.
Uber has temporarily cut the price of its cheapest service, UberX, by 20% to match the rate of New York City’s yellow taxis.
The move follows similar price decreases in San Francisco and Boston.
UberX price has been temporally cut to match the rate of New York City’s yellow cabs (photo Wikimedia)
Most analysts see the move as an effort to undercut competitors like Lyft and Hailo, as well as attracting newcomers.
Uber drivers – who are paid around 80% of the total fare – will be forced to accept lower payments as a result.
In a blog post announcing the fare changes, Uber countered: “What we’ve seen in cities across the country is that lower fares mean greater demand, lower pickup times and more trips per hour – increasing earning potential and creating better economics for drivers.”
In June, Uber raised $1.2 billion in capital, in a move which valued the car-sharing service at more than $18 billion.
However, Uber has faced competition from other companies, questions from regulators and angered traditional taxi drivers in cities across the globe, from Berlin to Paris to Madrid.
Taxi and rail services strikes have disrupted transport in major European cities.
Two-thirds of trains were not running in some areas of France in a strike against reforms and taxis were blocking traffic around some airports.
Cab-drivers are protesting at what they regard as a lack of regulation of rival mobile service Uber.
A protest began in Madrid early on Wednesday and action was to take place in London, Milan and other cities.
The biggest taxi associations in Madrid asked their drivers to observe a 24-hour stoppage until 06:00 on Thursday morning. More than 15,000 licensed vehicles operate in Madrid, Spanish media say.
Taxi drivers in major European cities are protesting at what they regard as a lack of regulation of rival mobile service Uber
The London protest was to start in Trafalgar Square at 14:00 BST, with taxi drivers arguing that the Uber mobile app, which originated in the US, was tantamount to a taxi meter, which only black cabs are legally entitled to use in London.
Up to 12,000 drivers are expected to take part in the protest.
The Metropolitan Police said conditions had been imposed on protesters after they failed to meet with officers to discuss their plans.
In Milan, in northern Italy, a protest was taking place throughout Wednesday, although disruption was not expected to be on a similar scale as elsewhere, with boycotts expected of key sites such as railway stations and squares. Cab drivers also staged demonstrations in Rome and Naples.
Protests were taking place in several German cities, including Berlin and Hamburg.
But the worst of the disruption was in Paris, where train services were also badly affected by strike action.
Only one in three trains was running in the Paris region, although Eurostar services were unaffected.
Unions are objecting to plans to merge the rail network operator with the train company SNCF. The company said some 28% of railway staff had walked out.
Workers were also considering whether to extend the strike into Thursday. Several regions had voted to continue the stoppage, French media reported.
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