Get All Access for $5/mo

Uber Takes Swipe at NYC Regulators With Clever 'De Blasio' Feature The ride-hailing transportation giant has updated its app with a special message for residents of the Big Apple.

By Catherine Clifford

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Catherine Clifford

Uber is no stranger to regulatory battles, but it's certainly getting more creative in how it fights them.

As New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio looks to put new limitations on the ridesharing giant, Uber has struck back with a clever app feature meant to rally support among users. Customers who open the Uber app in New York City will now find a "de Blasio" option alongside the uberPOOL, uberX and UberBLACK options. If you toggle over to that icon, a message pops up "NO CARS -- SEE WHY." If you click on that bubble, Uber displays a screen that comes up informing users "This is what Uber will look like in NYC if Mayor de Blasio's Uber cap bill passes." In other words: There won't be any rides available.

At issue is a city council bill that would require the Taxi and Limousine Commission to limit the issuance of for-hire vehicle licenses until research is completed on the growth trajectories in the taxicab and for-hire vehicle industries. The cap on new for-hire vehicle licences would remain in effect until either the study is completed or August 31, 2016.

Related: 5 Entrepreneurial Lessons From Uber on Its 5-Year Anniversary

Uber has been aggressively campaigning to raise awareness of the bill. In addition to the message embedded into the app, the San Francisco ride-sharing giant has been running television spots, like the one embedded below, highlighting the benefit that the app provides to the people of New York.

Uber is threatening the legacy world of yellow taxi cabs in New York City, a deeply entrenched industry that has historically come with expensive barriers to entry.

Related: Lyft CMO: Uber Is the Wal-Mart of Transportation. We Aren't.

New York City is one battle in a larger war that Uber is fighting. The transportation company consistently finds itself butting heads with regulators. Earlier this week, the company was ordered to pay $7.3 million by the California Public Utilities Commission for not disclosing information on accidents involving Uber drivers, the percentage of rides Uber does not accept and how often Uber is able to meet demands for disabled accessible rides, among other information.

Related: Finland's Capital Wants to Do Away With Car Ownership

Catherine Clifford

Frequently covers crowdfunding, the sharing economy and social entrepreneurship.

Catherine Clifford is a senior writer at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was the small business reporter at CNNMoney and an assistant in the New York bureau for CNN. Catherine attended Columbia University where she earned a bachelor's degree. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. Email her at CClifford@entrepreneur.com. You can follow her on Twitter at @CatClifford.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Business News

How to Be a Billionaire By 25, According to a College Dropout Turned CEO Worth $1.6 Billion

Austin Russell became the world's youngest self-made billionaire in 2020 at age 25.

Franchise

Four Takeaways for the Franchise Industry From My Time at the Republican National Convention

Matt Haller, President and CEO of the IFA, says the stakes are high for franchisors and franchisees in the upcoming presidential election.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business News

How to Build a Successful Startup, According to an Investor Who Made Early Bets on Twitter, Lyft, and Twitch

He's found a few patterns after nearly two decades of investing in startups.

Growing a Business

The Top 5 AI Tools That Can Revolutionize Your Workflow and Boost Productivity

Discover the top 5 AI tools for marketing and content creation that every marketer needs to know.

Science & Technology

No More ChatGPT? Here's Why Small Language Models Are Stealing the AI Spotlight

Entrepreneurs can leverage this growing tech to create innovative, efficient and targeted AI solutions.