Uber has taken a direct shot at New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio with a new feature that appears in the form of a button called “DE BLASIO.” The button, which appears at the bottom of a users screen, sends out messages such as “NO CARS-SEE WHY” and “SEE WHAT HAPPENS.”
Uber Technology had already started running attack ads against New York City’s mayor. The company is directly protesting a bill that would limit the company from expanding the number of cars on its system in New York City by more than 1 percent of its current size. The bill may go for a vote as early as next week.
The company decided to attack Bill De Blasio after his administration began an all-out assault on sharing economy apps, including Uber, AirBnb, Lyft, and others. New York’s mayor isn’t the first to be attacked for his decision to begin efforts aimed towards banning such services. Uber is planning to discontinue service in Broward County, Florida, after a local law banned such services. The company has setup a page urging residents to write to the county commission and displays a message to customers who try to book rides in the area that reads, “Officials have adopted rules that make it impossible for Uber to continue operating.”
While Uber is not afraid to directly attack public officials, the company has also formed a strong lobbying effort led by former Barack Obama strategist David Plouffe. The company now employs 250 lobbyists and 29 lobbying firms registered in state capitals around the U.S.
“Mayor de Blasio’s plan to stop Uber will cost 10,000 jobs, hurt underserved areas and make wait times for Uber cars skyrocket. With this view, New York City riders can see for themselves how much time this political payback to big taxi owners will cost them,” Plouffe, an Uber director, said in a statement.