From Jason Riley writing in the Wall Street Journal (“Getting Around Is About to Get Harder for Minorities“) in response to New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and his city council’s efforts to protect the taxi cartel at the expense of outer-borough dwellers by becoming the first major US city to cap the number of ride-sharing vehicles it allows to operate.
The city’s move to limit ride-sharing vehicles wasn’t a win for “the people.” It was a win for special interests with deep pockets—namely, the traditional taxi drivers and their affiliated labor unions—who want to stop ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft from competing for customers. Since running for mayor in 2013, Mr. de Blasio has received more than a half million dollars in campaign contributions from the taxi industry. The mayor placed the concerns of the people who financed his election above the concerns of people who voted for him, then spun it as a victory for the latter.
The sad irony is that the same liberals who act in the name of the less fortunate continue to find ways to make life more expensive and frustrating for New York City’s most vulnerable populations. They’ve promoted rent-control policies that create housing shortages by making the construction of affordable dwellings unprofitable. They’ve promoted education policies that aim to block popular and academically successful public charter schools from multiplying if their teachers aren’t unionized. And now they’re working to undermine the most positive development in urban transportation in decades: cheap, reliable car service.