When it comes to getting around town, especially in the outer boroughs and transit deserts, more and more New Yorkers are turning to Uber and other ride-hailing services instead of cabs, The New York Times reported.
Half of Uber’s total rides are currently originating outside of Manhattan, a jump from one-fourth in 2015. And, for the first time, Uber beat cab rides when it had an average of 289,000 daily rides in July — 12,000 more than taxis.
Part of Uber’s growth can be credited to the service’s expansion into diverse neighborhoods that yellow cabs often do not serve.
While Uber does not usually disclose ride data, it did give the Times samples of its expansion into dozens of residential neighborhoods in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx that are underserved by the city’s transit system.
In August, Uber had more than 167,000 weekly pickups in those areas, nearly three times more than the 56,000-plus it had in 2016.
“We really want to make sure we’re fulfilling the needs of New Yorkers wherever they live,” Sarfraz Maredia, general manager of Uber’s northeast region, told the Times. “Taxis have long ignored some of these communities.”
Uber isn’t the only ride-hailing company growing outside Manhattan. A little more than half of Lyft’s pickups are from the outer boroughs. It also has operations and a driver support center in Queens and holds driver events in Brooklyn each month.
Via, too, has a facility for its drivers in Queens and has expanded from Manhattan into downtown Brooklyn, Brooklyn Heights, Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Long Island City.
While the commissioner of the Taxi and Limousine Commission, Meera Joshi, told the Times that “more options expand mobility for passengers,” it does mean that yellow cabs and green taxis, which service outer boroughs and Upper Manhattan, are seeing fewer passengers.
The city’s 4,251 green taxis gave an average of 29,503 daily rides in July — a drop from 42,979 in 2016.