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Uber and Lyft continue rapid growth in NYC despite regulations
Clayton Guse
APR 17, 2019 | 5:00 AM

Uber and Lyft continue rapid growth in NYC despite regulations

In this 2016 file photo, a ride share car displays Lyft and Uber stickers on its front windshield. (Richard Vogel/AP)

They're suing New York over what they say are unfair regulations, but car-hailing giants Uber and Lyft are notching record levels of robust ridership across the five boroughs.
Data obtained Tuesday by the Daily News shows app-based, for-hire vehicles made an average of 720,000 daily trips in February, the same month a new surcharge and driver minimum wage rules went into effect.

It's the single highest daily trip average for companies in the industry since they roared into the New York market in 2015.

Lyft sued the city in January over its new driver minimum wage rules, arguing they give Uber an unfair advantage and would ultimately mean their own drivers would be paid less. Three weeks later, Uber also sued the city over a rule imposed last August to cap the number of app-based, for-hire cars allowed on the streets.

Then at the start of February, a $2.75 state-mandated surcharge hit all private app-based rides entering Manhattan below 96th St., a move to reduce their impact on the borough's busiest streets.
And despite it all, both Uber and Lyft are completing more trips and occupying more space in New York streets.
Bruce Schaller, one of the leading experts on the ride-hailing industry's effect on New York , noted growth for both Uber and Lyft has slowed over the past year - a dip that wasn't unexpected given the companies' growth spurt from 2015 to 2017.

"Looking at these data, the drop in growth rate doesn't seem to have anything to do with new regulations taking effect this year," Schaller said.
The data also doesn't prop up Lyft's claims the driver minimum wage rules potentially give an unfair advantage to Uber.
Lyft rides accounted for 23% of all app-based for-hire rides made in the city during February, the month the driver wage rules went into effect, up from 21% in January. Meanwhile, Uber's market share remained flat at 67%.

But doing more trips doesn't mean Uber and Lyft are raking in huge sums of cash - both companies are operating at massive losses that are largely the result of subsidizing rides as they compete with one another.
"What's killing them is each other," said Schaller. "If there was just one of them, they could raise prices and make money just as the taxi industry did across the country."
Each corporate behemoth filed IPOs over the past month, which gave the public insight into their strategies.
In this Aug. 1, 2018, file photo, a woman uses a ride-hailing app while waiting for a ride outside Grand Central Terminal in New York.

In this Aug. 1, 2018, file photo, a woman uses a ride-hailing app while waiting for a ride outside Grand Central Terminal in New York. (AP)
Documents filed by Uber to the Securities and Exchange Commission said "increased competition may prevent us from improving our margins over time or achieving profitability."
Lyft said in its own filing that the company "may not be able to achieve or maintain profitability in the future."
Judge Andrea Masley of the Manhattan Supreme Court last month denied Lyft's request to block the minimum wage rules put in place by the city's Taxi and Limousine Commission, and said she would issue a final ruling within 30 days. That deadline is Wednesday.

Lyft spokeswoman Campbell Matthews said the company didn't discount rides from Feb. 6 to Feb. 8 to highlight the negative impact of the wage rules.
Matthews said the price of rides increased by 24% during that period, while rides dropped by 26% and driver earnings dropped by 15%.
Uber declined to comment.

Clayton Guse
Clayton Guse

Transit Reporter
Clayton Guse is the transit reporter at the Daily News. A graduate of DePaul University, he's spent seven years covering the country's two largest public transportation systems, the MTA and CTA.

Premium Member
7,565 Posts
Lyft’s comments are good. The could have said the impact of passing wage guarantees to passengers was that drivers made less than before it was enacted. It’s not that simple as Uber May have run specials and taken a hit while the drivers made more due to getting the rides lyft lost.
Or it might have been weather related
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