Cabs are to New York City what gondolas are to Venice. Uber, however, is changing the face of transportation in the Big Apple and cabs don’t like the competition, prompting Mayor Bill de Blasio to take their side against innovation and market forces.

Ingeniously claiming that he is only standing up for the environment because an increase in the number of cars on New York streets will have a negative impact, de Blasio blasted Uber recently and aims to push through the City Council legislation to freeze the growth of for-hire vehicles – which they consider ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft.

De Blasio claims that more than 2,000 new for-hire vehicles are being added to New York streets every month, overwhelming the most congested parts of Manhattan, with the prospect of a more than 25,000 additional cars over the next year —roughly two times the total number of yellow taxis in all of New York City.

He compares surge pricing – which ridesharing companies use to boost supply of drivers in response to spikes to rider demand when for example a big concert lets out or a downpour of rain floods the area – to price gouging. He claims that a penny spent on ridesharing is a penny lost to public transit and he generally condemns Uber for what he considers flouting the rules.

Under the proposed bill, for-hire vehicle companies that have bases with 500 cars or more could only increase their number of vehicles by 1% every year. For Uber, this would mean adding just 201 new drivers for the next year. That’s a problem when Uber says it's adding 25,000 new users every week. If passed the proposal would cripple not just Uber’s expansion but ability to service both current drivers and riders – no doubt just what de Blasio and the City Council are counting on.

Here’s what de Blasio said in the New York Daily News:

While most businesses recognize the role of the city to set basic standards and look out for the broader public interest, Uber — a $40 billion corporation — is out with multi-million dollar ads trying to convince New Yorkers that it doesn't need more oversight.

When you consider what's at stake — from ensuring workers can make a decent living, to managing the surge of more than 2,000 new cars on our streets every month, to protecting consumers from overcharges, to making sure we have more accessible vehicles for New Yorkers with disabilities — it's our responsibility to act.

New York City's for-hire vehicles have been regulated lightly compared to other sectors for decades because they were a relatively small part of our transportation system. That's all changed.

The upside for riders has been more options when someone needs a ride, and that's a very positive thing. But there are a host of challenges that come with this, and now that Uber has gone from upstart innovator to operating more cars than anyone else, we have to make sure that the rules are fair for all New Yorkers.

Uber is welcome in New York City. Passengers deserve more and better service — and new companies like Uber are helping provide it. There are and will continue to be more for-hire cars and drivers on our roads than at any time in our history.

But no company's multi-billion-dollar political war chest gives it a blank check to skirt vital protections and oversight for New Yorkers. We wouldn't let ExxonMobil or Wal-Mart or any other corporate giant operate in New York City without basic rules in place to protect the public. And no number of lobbyists or ad campaigns will change that.

For all of his talk about welcoming Uber and new competition, it’s overshadowed by his disdain for the company which is just injecting competition in the transportation game. By comparing Uber to other “corporate giants” to be taken down, de Blasio wears his disdain for competition and success on his sleeve.

Uber extended an olive branch and asked de Blasio for a public debate to help the sides resolve some disputes about the city's policies toward ride-hailing service. Uber noted that when the proposal was introduced, it was against curbing congestion, but de Blasio’s rants covered everything but congestion.

De Blasio publicly and obstinately rejected the discussion noting, “I don’t debate with private corporations. Let’s be clear – Uber is a multibillion dollar corporation, and they’re acting like one.”

Now, a PR war between de Blasio and Uber is playing out as the company tries to remind New Yorkers why Uber is a valued part of the community. It provides jobs and earnings opportunities for female and younger workers and picks up customers in neighborhoods that taxis will not go to.

New York City’s ridesharing battleground is one of the most dramatic backdrops for how established interests use the political process to protect themselves from competition. De Blasio has allied his administration with entrenched interests and unlike other elected officials who have stood for free markets, de Blasio is standing for cronyism.

Caught in the middle are riders and drivers who simply want to get to where they need to go in cheaper and safer way than the other options or who want to use their vehicle to earn money.

We’ll track how this plays out, but hope that public pressure will push for innovation and market-driven solutions rather than allowing the political process to ensure that opportunity to be locked out.