Speed of growth at center of Uber's NYC dispute

NEW YORK -- Ride-sharing service Uber finds itself embroiled in a heated dispute with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. The company wants to expand but the mayor is trying to curtail its rapid growth.

After six years of driving a taxi in New York, Hasan Mohammed switched to Uber this year.

Uber driver Hasan Mohammed CBS News

"It's like day-and-night difference," said Mohammed. "Uber is totally a revolution. It changed the whole industry."

Uber, the transportation network that allows passengers to connect directly with drivers through an app, has become a favorite of business travelers. A majority now prefer it to taxis, according to Certify.

But Uber has met opposition in cities everywhere from cab drivers who say the service is under-regulated.

In two years, Uber has gone from zero drives to more than 160,000 CBS News

"I don't think it's fair that Uber should be coming in here like that and just taking over, because they are taking over," said New York City taxi driver Zinaida Rodriguez.

Uber is also receiving criticism from city governments who say the streets are more congested. In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio has proposed a cap on Uber cars, which now outnumber yellow cabs.

"What we're talking about here is a temporary reduction in their growth," said de Blasio.

New York City taxi driver Zinaida Rodriguez CBS News

Uber has countered with a massive ad blitz claiming it will cost 10,000 jobs. One commercial claims, "Mayor de Blasio is pushing the agenda of his big taxi donors."

Across the country, Uber's acceleration has been amazing. From nearly zero drivers to more than 160,000 in less than two years.

"It's not about making more money," said Hasan Mohammed. "It's my own freedom."

Mohammed drives his own car and now sets his own schedule. He says he likes operating like he's his own business. And for drivers like him, there's no turning back.

"This is a lot better system," he said. "It's the technology of tomorrow."

  • Anthony Mason

    CBS News senior business and economics correspondent; Co-host, "CBS This Morning: Saturday"