New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has a reputation for taking on big, entrenched industries (see his prohibition on indoor smoking and attempted ban on large sodas, for two notable examples). But if Bloomberg said anything like what he is reported to have told the owner of one of New York City's largest taxi fleets, it may mark a new level of combativeness from the Mayor — one that could align more closely with Uber and other taxicab competitors. "Come January 1st, when I am out of office, I am going to destroy your fucking industry," Bloomberg is alleged to have told Evgeny Freidman, CEO of New York's Taxi Club Management. The New York Post was the first to report Bloomberg's statements earlier this week, as recalled by Friedman, but a court complaint against the Mayor filed by Friedman also contains the same quotes.

"The Taxi of Tomorrow"

Bloomberg's tirade is said to have occurred last week ,when Freidman approached him at a Knicks basketball game and mentioned a recent court setback in Bloomberg's order to replace all 13,000 current New York City cabs — which vary in model and make — with a single new, required model: the van-like Nissan NV200, dubbed the "Taxi of Tomorrow." That plan, announced in early 2012, was recently ruled illegal by a New York State Supreme Court judge, who said it violated a city code mandating that cab drivers be offered a hybrid car option to drive as well. The Nissan NV200, while fuel efficient, is not a hybrid car. Freidman was one of several taxicab fleet owners who had sued to stop the plan.

The city government may try and pass an amended version of the rule sometime this year, but whether or not it succeeds, it seems that Bloomberg, who is due to retire after a third term as mayor of New York later this year, is ready to continue the fight. Quartz has a look on how Bloomberg may try to use his vast personal fortune, accumulated in part by founding the media company that bears his name, to disrupt the taxicab industry and clear a path for startups such as Uber and Lyft, which have faced challenges by more traditional cab companies.