Mobile Ridesharing Beating the Cab in New York City

March 20, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

We know that Uber and Lyft have made a big impact on how people get around, thanks to their mobile payments connection and ease of activation—just fire up an app and call for a ride, and use a mobile payments platform to cover the costs—but just how big it is in New York City might surprise you. The Big Apple loves Uber and Lyft, so much so that this duo now represents a major portion of riding, beating out even the venerable New York taxi.

Back in February 2017, based on data from the Taxi and Limousine Commission, ride-hailing services actually picked up 65 percent more passengers than taxis did. Uber and Lyft together, meanwhile, now account for more pickups than any taxi service has in any one month since the Commission started keeping the data in question. Granted, the data has only been analyzed since 2009, but still.

Moreover, Uber itself is now bigger than both the yellow and green taxi services combined. Todd Schneider—the blogger who originally made the connection—noted that, in the last four years, ride-hailing has reached 15 million trips per month, while taxi service has declined five million trips per month.

Ever since 2016, the outer boroughs have used ridesharing more than taxis since 2016’s opening days, and that difference has only gotten more pronounced with time. In the outer boroughs, users are 10 times more likely to use Uber or Lyft than to call either a yellow or green cab. Even Manhattan proper isn’t immune; if the data only dealt with addresses south of 60th Street, reports note, Uber and Lyft would be more popular than taxis there too.

Just why ridesharing is so much more popular than taxi service is unclear; perhaps it’s the flexibility, or the ability to select from a type of ride—from Economy to high-end Premium options—that’s actually used to ferry you around. The ability to order and pay from an app likely doesn’t hurt here either, and it could well be the combination that’s delivering the biggest impact here.

Regardless of the actual cause, the end result remains: Uber and Lyft are a huge part of the Big Apple these days, and that may not slow down any time soon.