The honeymoon is over for Uber and Pittsburgh. After bending over backward to accommodate the ride-sharing company’s driverless car ambitions, city officials are tired of being taken for granted.
“We’ve held up our end of the bargain,” Pittsburgh mayor Bill Peduto said last week, “but we haven’t seen much from Uber. This is a two-way street, not a one-way. I need to see more interest from them in our communities, both locally and internationally.” City controller Michael Lamb took the analogy even further: “Unfortunately, to this point, the relationship with Uber appears to be a one-way limited-access highway,” he wrote in an email to Peduto. “They currently operate as though they have been given carte blanche access to our city.”
Pittsburgh has put up with Uber for a long time. The city stayed quiet as Uber gutted Carnegie Mellon for robotics talent in early 2015, and welcomed the Advanced Technologies Center it later set up. Pittsburgh wrote a letter in support of Uber when the company was fined $11.4 million for operating in Pennsylvania without permission. And in September, Pittsburgh opened its streets to tests of self-driving cars with real people, and played along with Uber’s hasty and elaborate press event.
From Uber, Pittsburgh wanted help winning the 2016 Smart City Challenge, a US Department of Transportation competition with a $50 million prize. In May 2016, Peduto asked Uber to spend $25 million on a new transit connection from Carnegie Mellon to the neighborhood where it would be testing autonomous vehicles. Uber not only refused, but came back with a laundry list of things that Pittsburgh could do to better accommodate Uber, among them access to bus lanes, designated pick-up and drop-off spots for self-driving cars, and “prioritization of snow removal” on self-driving car routes. “I would be voted out of office,” Peduto retorted at the time. “You aren’t offering anything back to the public.”...MOREAnd from GQ, some suggestions on what the city can tell Uber:
Breaking Up Face-to-Face Is For Fools
"I just need to work on myself."
(I don’t love you.)
"It’s not you, it’s me."
(It’s me, not loving you.)
"I think we’re growing apart…"
(...in that you love me, but I don’t love you.)
"We should see other people..."
(...because maybe I’ll love one of them.)
"I think I'm gay."
(I literally can’t love you.)
"We’re better as friends."
(I will never love you.)
"A relationship is too much right now."
(A relationship with someone I don’t love is too much right now.)
"You deserve better."
(If you found out that I don’t love you, you’d be hurt.)
"I fucked Janice/Greg in accounts payable on your birthday.".....MORE
(I don't love you. I do like Janice!)