Taxis have long been an icon of city living. If you walk into any New York City street, you can expect to see a familiar-looking yellow sedan with “TAXI” written in black letters. Taxis, originally much different than the current model, have been around in cities like NYC since the late 19th century. Looking for a vacant taxi and getting the cabby’s attention can prove practically impossible. However, within the last five to 10 years there has emerged additional transportation services, such as Uber and Lyft, which have given consumers the opportunity to request a ride at their location via mobile app. Uber has doubled its drivers in one year, but what affect does that have on taxi drivers? Who has the better rates? If I were driving from my apartment on 3rd St. NE, Washington D.C. to work on New York Ave. NW, Washington D.C. on Monday morning, it could take me about 12-28 minutes and would be 2.6 miles. According to Yellow Taxi Cab Company, with average traffic, my commute to work would cost me $18.95. With no traffic, it would cost $12.45. With heavy traffic, the costs could run up to $47.37. According to Uber.com, if I took an Uber to work, it would cost about $8-11. This would be the base fair for an UberX; additional Uber upgrades would cost more money. For more popular areas, Uber will charge different prices. Uber considers Times Square a high traffic area, for which it would charge additional fees. As Ubers have become more prevalent in NYC, taxi prices have continued to drop. Uber makes up about 70 percent of rides in NYC and Lyft makes up about four percent. In March 2016 in NYC, taxis totaled 393,886 rides per day and dispatched 13,270 cars. Uber totaled 160,027 rides per day and had a total of 26,246 cars active. Lyft had a total of 17,634 total rides per day and 5,763 cars in route. This shows taxis having more rides per car than Uber and Lyft combined. Taxis in NYC averaged about 30 trips while Uber averaged about six and Lyft about three. Since the previous year, Taxis had lost one trip per car per day and Lyft had gained two trips per car per day. You can find Uber in 400 cities and 70 different countries. They have given over one billion rides and service one million rides per day. They currently have at least eight million users. The facts point to Uber being the fastest, easiest and most practical option for city commuters, at least in D.C.
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