After war of words, Newark and Uber make a deal

By Dan Ivers and Paul Milo | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
on April 15, 2016

A battle has broken out between Uber, traditional cab companies, and the city of Newark, as the city is continuing discussions of proposed additional regulations on ride-sharing companies like Uber that could impact business. On April 6, 2016, representatives of Uber, taxi unions, and taxi company employees came to protest at the Newark City Council meeting. Uber employees wore shirts and the taxi employees came out in force with protest signs.

 

NEWARK — The administration of Mayor Ras Baraka announced Friday that a deal has been struck allowing Uber to continue operating in the city.

"The city of Newark and UBER have reached a tentative agreement which will keep UBER in Newark, protect the business interests of the taxi and limousine industry and provide a boost to the city's economic development and leadership in technology," Baraka said in a statement.

A Baraka spokesman declined to release details of the deal, stating the particulars will be made public at a press conference sometime "in the coming days."

Uber also confirmed that a deal had been struck but also refrained from releasing any specifics in its statement.

"We are pleased we reached a tentative agreement with Mayor Baraka. We look forward to continuing to provide transportation options and economic opportunity to Newark and its citizens," spokesman Craig Uwer said.

Uber and the city have been at loggerheads for months, with Baraka and other city officials claiming the car services enjoy an unfair advantage over taxis licensed by Newark. Representatives of the traditional cab companies also say services like Lyft and Uber threaten to put them out of business. 

The city had previously proposed a ban on the car-hailing services at Newark Liberty Airport and Penn Station, an effort that initially floundered when the Port Authority and NJ Transit both declined to enforce it. But ticketing resumed following a rally by cab drivers at city hall.

More recently, the city proposed a number of fees to be imposed on what the company says are an estimated 2,000 Uber drivers who work in Newark. Those fees total far more than what cab drivers pay, Uber contends, an assertion disputed by unions representing the cab companies.

In response, Uber this week threatened to leave the city.

 

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