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NYC mayor on Uber deal, taxi industry contributions

The deal would delay a cap on the number of vehicles Uber can operate
NYC Mayor de Blasio on surprise deal with Uber, Pope Francis 09:00

Wednesday's deal between Uber and New York City will enable the two parties to "make sense of a complicated situation," according to Mayor Bill de Blasio, but neither are putting down their gloves just yet.

"Like many big corporations, they think they can get their way through using a lot of money. And we don't accept that concept. That's not what a democracy is about," de Blasio said Thursday on "CBS This Morning."

Over the next four months, Uber will provide de Blasio's administration with information -- which the mayor said it previously withheld -- in order to study the impact of the cars on traffic and the environment. For the duration of the study, the city will not cap Uber's growth.

Former Obama adviser David Plouffe on Uber’s vision and critics 08:18

"What's good about this understanding is it's going to ... allow us to study the situation with real some limits in place, and we don't take any options off the table," de Blasio said. "If we ultimately believe there needs to be a cap or some kind of additional regulation, we'll do that."

Since the issue over Uber's rapid surge in the Big Apple began, money has been consistent topic of discussion.

Uber's New York general manager Josh Mohrer said last week the proposed cap on the number of drivers it could hire in the city was about "past campaign contributions," and not about congestion.

The company's chief adviser David Plouffe echoed those claims Tuesday on "CBS This Morning."

"At the end of the day I think the motivation here is the taxi industry has showered the mayor, the City Council president, and others with a lot of money, and this is payback," said Plouffe, the former campaign manager for President Barack Obama.

De Blasio said he's focused on "the public interest."

"There's been some individuals in the past who have (donated), but that's not the point," he said.

According to a recent survey, the public may be more interested in Uber than New York City's yellow cabs.

According to Certify, Uber claims 55 percent of the market, compared to 43 percent for traditional taxis. They cite reliability, variety of vehicle and price as reasons why customers are flocking to the app-based car service.

De Blasio said there are still issues with the service in New York City, including the absence of handicap-accessible vehicles.

As to the administration's most publicized concern--congestion, Plouffe said de Blasio is the only one making that claim and it's "complete nonsense."

"With all due respect to Mr. Plouffe, he always has a strong financial interest in the company and he's speaking with that bias," de Blasio said. "The reality is that we've seen a huge increase in the number of vehicles in midtown Manhattan and Uber is a piece of that."

Uber already has an estimated 25,000 cars on the streets of New York compared to the city's yellow taxi fleet of about 13,000.

"I think the mindset of Uber is they should be able to do as they wish, and we don't apply that standard to any company. We say government regulation matters," de Blasio said.

How Uber is impacting the 2016 presidential race 03:11

These latest comments come on the heels of de Blasio's return from the Vatican, where he spoke about fighting climate change at a conference of mayors.

"The pope is the kind of leader who's not just offering a religious theory or religious doctrine. He's now literally organizing leaders around the world to act locally to create the momentum for change," de Blasio said.

About 60 mayors from around the world attended the two-day climate conference featuring an audience with Pope Francis, whose recent environment encyclical is aimed at maintaining pressure on world leaders ahead of December's United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris.

"He is, I think, the strongest moral voice in the world today. He's a figure who's changing the international debate, more powerfully than I think I've seen any individual do in many, many years," de Blasio said.

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