Monday, October 17, 2016

The Shrinking Pie of New York City Taxi Drivers Rides Against Uber and Lyft

(image credit: kidaPride)
For the first few years I visited New York City I absolutely saw taxi cabs as an expensive way to travel and treated it as a luxury I could not afford. From the airport to mid-town I would use a shared ride service like Super Shuttle. While in the city I would rely on the subway and walking.

In 2004 upon arriving at JFK airport, I was feeling most ill. Now anyone who has used a shared-ride shuttle van knows someone will be dropped off first and someone will be dropped off last. Based on my experiences with staying at midtown hotels in Times Square, I was normally the last passenger dropped off at my destination. This is after riding in a shuttle that one time took two hours for my drop off. So I did the most practical thing to get me to the hotel to rest. I caught a taxi from JFK to my hotel. If I recall correctly the fare with tip and tolls was about $60 back then. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. I made it to my hotel in what seemed like minutes compared to my experiences with shuttle vans.

Now I mainly use taxi to and from the airport in most cities I visit. But once in the city I'll use the mass transit services available. It's still part of the my positive travel experiences to use the subway in New York City or the tube in London.

(image credit: Business Insider)
This was before Uber and along with Lyft it appears they are gaining a huge market share of trips at the loss of New York City taxi drivers.

Business Insider reports how the value of a NYC medallion, which allows the right to operate a cab in the city, was recently listed at $250,000.  In 2014, the article reports the value was about $1.3 million.

A chart in the report shows in April 2015 taxis accounted for 84% of rides in New York. In April 2016, taxis accounted for 65% of rides.

Right now I don't plan to switch to Uber or Lyft when I'm in the New York at least. But there is one place where I really cannot handle the games taxi drivers play which is in Las Vegas. Next time I'm there I'll be calling an Uber.

Click the link below for the Business Insider article:


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