Peduto, along with Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, asked the PUC to “address fairness in business regulation, and especially fairness toward one business — Uber.” The politicians said Uber “is investing hundreds of millions of dollars in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and is poised to invest millions more. However, all this could be lost if we send the message that Pennsylvania is not a welcoming place for 21st century businesses.”
If that sounds familiar, it’s because it echos the sentiment that economic development officials around the country are applying to Amazon HQ2. It also sounds a lot like Seattle’s reaction when Amazon announced its intention establish another headquarters outside its hometown.
In exchange for his support, Peduto expected Uber to be a partner in building the transportation system of the future in Pittsburgh. The mayor wanted Uber to invest $25 million to, among other things, connect the Hazelwood test track with Carnegie Mellon University. Peduto believed the investment would help Pittsburgh win a $50 million federal grant known as the Smart City Challenge.