NYS Exposed: Impact of ride-sharing on taxi industry

August 07, 2018 11:50 PM

The taxi industry spent hundreds of thousands of dollars fighting ride-sharing in New York State, saying it would cripple their business.

Now, a year after those efforts failed, the numbers show that's exactly what happened.


Rochester cab driver Cam Khounlivong owns Asian Taxi Cab.

Since ride-sharing was legalized in Rochester, his business has struggled. He also watched as many of his colleagues and competitors stopped driving.

"They can not afford the insurance, and they can not afford the hack plate," said Khounlivong. 

News10NBC pulled the numbers for the City of Rochester. 

Last year, there was a 20-percent drop in the number of registered taxi drivers, from 438 down to 361.

Khounlivong says the number of drivers actually hitting the road is much more staggering.

"Last year we had 400 taxis in Rochester, now it got down to 170."

That would mean, in the first year of ride-sharing, more than half of Rochester's taxi drivers have already thrown in the towel.

"It's just much easier to hail a car then it is to find a taxi," said Todd Schneider, data analyst. 

But how does it compare to what other cities have seen after launching ride-sharing? 

Todd Schneider analyzed the data for New York City.

"In general, New York City taxis will fair better than taxis in other cities." 

But take a look at the numbers from the outer boroughs of New York. In just two years, ride-sharing has exploded. 

"For every one pick-up in the outer boroughs, there's maybe like eight ride-hailing pick-ups." 

Schneider says despite a long history with yellow taxis, even Manhattan has seen a sharp decline in taxi pick-ups. Cities like Chicago show a similar trend. 

"It wouldn't surprise me at all, if in a mid-size city like Rochester, the taxi industry was just completely wiped out."

As for Khounlivong, he knows that might be the reality.

"I'm not sure I would say this is my last year. If next year, I don't make any money, then I can not afford the insurance and I might quit," adds Khounlivong. 

This year, the City of Rochester dropped the price of taxi-cab plate by about $200. 

If Khounlivong's numbers end up being a reality, the City of Rochester stands to loss over $100,000 in annual revenue from taxi drivers.


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