Taxi drivers aren’t happy with the impact Uber and other ride-sharing services are having on their business.
Now, they have got the proof they need to plead their case to the city council, the same governing body that was a single vote away from drastically reducing the number of for-hire vehicles allowed on New York city streets.
Newly-available data from the Taxi and Limousine Commission, analysed by the New York Daily News, show total trips in the the first half of 2015 were down 10% compared to same period last year.
Pickups for the iconic taxis that long ruled Manhattan streets plummeted 10% to 77 million in the first six months of 2015 — down from 85.5 million the year before, a Daily News analysis of trip data showed.
The data also show declining revenues from yellow cab fares.
The taxis collected $US981 million through June of this year, a 7% drop compared with the $US1.06 billion raked in over the same period last year.
In real numbers, each cab brought in 9% less on average due to an increased number of taxi medallions and stiffer competition.
Last month, a bill that would cap the number of for-hire vehicles given permits was defeated after vocal protests by Uber drivers and supporters. Instead, the city announced a plan to study the effects of for-hire vehicles such as Uber on congestion in Manhattan.
Uber told Daily News reporters Nolan Hicks and Dan Rivoli that its fastest growing areas are outside of Manhattan, areas that are underserved by yellow cabs.
The Taxi and Limousine Commission claims there are many more factors at play than just ride-sharing services, like CitiBike, the bikeshare program that this summer expanded to more than double its footprint.
“While apps get the spotlight, there are so many things going on,” TLC spokesperson Allan Fromberg told Business Insider. “If you look at how the taxi industries of cities with fewer change agents, like San Francisco, have weathered the changing landscape, a very strong argument can be made that the NYC market is actually quite resilient!”
Stiff competition has also caused the relative value of taxi medallions to plummet. In 2013, a taxi medallion was worth an estimated $US1.3 million. Today, online listings hover between $US600,000 and $US900,000.
Medallion owners are in a frenzy to protect their assets. The largest single-owner of medallions, Gene Friedman of Taxi Club Limited, recently filed for bankruptcy, telling the Observer that the city was unwilling to work with him as the value of his medallions plummeted.