Uber is handing over to the city of Boston—voluntarily—its user trip data, which the company had spent many months refusing to do and fighting, kicking and screaming.
Uber said that Boston is just the first of many cities that will eventually receive this data from the company, as Forbes reported.
It’s a little hard to believe, but those same Uber executives, who have gone to the mat with NYC and California regulators, insisting they had a right to protect that precious trip data, are now just giving it all away to Boston.
The City of New York closed down five Uber bases because they wouldn’t share their trip data, and California regulators took Uber to court over that trip data. Meanwhile, Lyft and Sidecar, the other Ubers, have been cooperating with the authorities all along.
Uber is now saying the data will help Boston city planners improve traffic control and reduce congestion, and even alert them to new potholes.
But that’s exactly what NYC and California had been arguing—and Uber was refusing to listen!
Now, according to Uber, the data will be shared by ZIP Code Tabulation Area, C|net reported.
Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh said in a statement Tuesday: “This will help us reach our transportation goals, improve the quality of our neighborhoods and allow us to think smarter, finding more innovative and creative solutions to some of our most pressing challenges.”
An Uber spokeswoman explained the new approach thusly: “As we have grown, so has our ability to share information that can serve a greater good.”
That’s Uber for “Seeing as our reputation around the world is so stinky, what with the rapes and raising prices during civil emergencies, and killing driver unions—we decided we couldn’t take another hit, so we capitulated.”
“We look forward to partnering with cities across the country to deliver data that will help cities achieve their transportation and planning goals without compromising personal privacy, ” the same Uber spokeswoman said.
Last week, Uber lowered fares for 48 cities across the US, including Atlanta, Dallas, Milwaukee and San Diego. No lower fares for Boston or New York, by the way.
Say what you will, those Uber executives just can’t do the goodwill thing. It pains them, somehow, to be nice to everybody.
Maybe the next scandal will push them over the top.