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Mayor: Uber needs to be better corporate citizen

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto is taking Uber to task and demanding they be better corporate citizens if they want to get back to testing self-driving cars in the area.

There was a meeting Friday for both sides to vocalize their differences.

Peduto told Channel 11 they made progress, but still have not agreed to a restart date.

Uber's autonomous cars haven't been allowed on Pittsburgh's roads since a fatal accident in Arizona back in March.


Two months later, Uber drew the ire of the mayor when it announced plans to restart testing in Pittsburgh, but apparently never informed Peduto.

He blasted Uber on Twitter, "You never responded to our requirements. You never informed us of today's announcement. Time to change."

"It was more of a clearing of the air, so this meeting was more along the lines of communications, the factors we will be looking for in the future," Peduto said Friday. "There's no time frame given. There's a lot of conversation about safety."

State Sen. Jay Costa, U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle and county executive Rich Fitzgerald all attended the meeting with Uber.

"It was a good meeting," Doyle said. "This is a company that's valuable to Pittsburgh and employs hundreds and hundreds of people."

Peduto told Channel 11 they also talked about Uber's role in the community and how they can help. Among the suggestions by the mayor, discounted Uber rides for senior citizens to medical appointments, food deliveries to the homeless and auto mechanic training programs for potential employees.

"The question of the future is how do we make it a positive outcome so that it benefits all Pittsburgh and we are able to improve mobility for those most vulnerable, while at the same time watching this industry continue to grow," Peduto said.

Uber released a statement saying they discussed self-driving safety assessments and ways to engage the community and that they appreciated the opportunity to meet.