Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Mayor Ivy Taylor Met With Google And Uber Last Week

Posted By on Tue, Jun 23, 2015 at 10:34 AM

click image COURTESY
  • Courtesy
Last week, San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor was in beautiful San Francisco attending a national mayor's conference.

While she was there, Taylor met with Google and Uber.

Her staff tells us that the meeting with Google was an update on plans to bring Google Fiber to San Antonio.

The problem, for Google, with the Alamo City is it's sheer size. The geography and topography make it more difficult to implement the infrastructure needed for fiber.

Geographically, this is the largest area they've ever worked in, according to the mayor's office.

Despite not being chosen in January as one of the next cities where fiber will rollout, Google Fiber has a team that's here on the ground, which has hired engineering firms, and is investing money in the area, according to Taylor's staff.

Before heading out to the West Coast for the mayor's conference, Taylor told us that she planned to start up talks with Uber and Lyft — who left San Antonio after the city's transportation code was amended to regulate the ride-share industry.

While in San Francisco, Taylor met with Uber executive Adam Blinick, who is a public policy executive at the company, according to the mayor's office.

They talked about background checks, data collection and working together toward a solution, according to her staff, who say she has also met with Lyft since winning the runoff election on June 13.

This is no real surprise, as multiple sources have suggested Uber and Lyft pulled out of San Antonio on the hopes that the state would regulate the industry, but that didn't happen.

And Uber was eager to restart talks. Just minutes after Taylor won the runoff, Uber spokeswoman Debbee Hancock said the company looks forward to working with her.

“It’s an exciting time in San Antonio as we have a group of newly engaged citizens who want to help City Hall build a vibrant economy that embraces 21st century policies. The people of San Antonio made their voices loud clear that they want Uber," Hancock said. "Mayor Taylor has an unique opportunity to take a major step towards accomplishing this, and we look forward to working with her to craft regulations that allow ridesharing to help solve one of San Antonio’s biggest public safety issues: drunk driving.”

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