Uber may have reached a tipping point in New York City -- and that's bad news for taxis

  • Morgan Stanley Adam Jonas calculates that Uber now has more “rider-share” than cabs in NYC.
  • The value of an NYC taxi medallion has plunged.
  • Uber’s business is growing in NY while taxis are on the decline.

Morgan Stanley auto analyst Adam Jonas published a research note on Monday in which he assessed some trends for raid-hailing-services and taxi patronage in the city that never sleeps.

For traditional cabs, the story isn’t good.

“We believe that Uber now has a larger share of the mobility ‘pie’ in New York City than yellow taxis,” he wrote, adding that “trips/day, vehicles, and drivers have all increased substantially [year-over-year] across the board for rideshare apps, and decreased [year-over-year] for taxis.”

But perhaps the most startling data point that Jonas grappled with was the plummeting value of an NYC taxi medallion — in practice, a chunk of plastic affixed to a cab’s hood, and in effect a licence to operate a taxi in the city:

[T]he impact on the taxi industry, both individual medallion owners and fleet operators, appears far worse than even the data … would indicate. Medallion values have fallen from a peak of roughly $US1.3 million in 2014 to under $US200,000 in certain cases (i.e. foreclosures). According to the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission, recent medallion transfers range from roughly $US400,000 to under $US200,000, largely driven by declining revenue streams for the owners.

That’s a stunning drop and tells us more about how Uber, primarily, has completely changed how New Yorkers get around.

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