Taxis, Ubers, and Subways

Nate Silver published an interesting post on Taxis, Ubers, and Subways this past week.

This graphic is from that post:


What you can see from this graphic is that most New Yorkers don’t use taxis or Uber. They use the subway, and to a lesser extent buses.

This is from Nate’s post:

How big is the for-hire car market in New York? Our data set includes 93 million taxi and Uber rides over a six-month period in 2014. Double that and round up,7 and you get to about 200 million rides per year. By contrast, the New York subway provided 1.75 billion rides in 2014, about nine times as many. There were also almost 800 million MTA bus rides8 in 2014.

If you add subways and buses together, mass transit is 12x larger than for-hire cars.

It is true that Uber and the other on demand car services have changed the game in the for-hire car market. Taxis will either respond (and be allowed to respond) to the competition from the new entrants or they will be replaced. But in a big city like NYC, the real transportation action is in mass transit. That has been the case for the past hundred years and will likely be the case for the next hundred years as well.


Comments (Archived):

  1. jason wright

    what’s that green spot top right for cabs? it looks conspicuous.i like subways and undergrounds and U-bahn systems. very expensive, and very democratic. a leveller of sorts.

    1. JimHirshfield

      Ryan Recreational Complex and the Bronx – Pelham Landfill.I’m guessing taxi to play sports, not trash hauling by taxi.

  2. William Mougayar

    This is music to UBER’s ears, and legitimizes them in a defacto manner.So what happens to the de Blazio request to spend 6 months getting data on UBER’s impact? Here’s the data. Now what? Everybody get back in your UBER, taxi or train and get back to work.

    1. LE

      A request for data or further clarification is simply a way typically to kick a can down the road in order to lessen tensions and calls to action in a situation that you don’t want to deal with and/or have a knee jerk reaction to or to avoid present conflict let’s call it. So what you want to do is put distance between some problem or situation and having to resolve the problem. A good effective technique if done correctly.Here is an example that I just made up.Your spouse says “hey we should get a swimming pool in the backyard”.You don’t want a swimming pool.So you can either fight the spouse and say “I don’t agree no swimming pool” or you can say “hmm maybe that’s an idea! I will begin to look into it and we can discuss!”.In the former you create conflict and ratchet up the tension. In the latter you defuse conflict and give your self some breathing room to find a way out of the problem. Also possible that the spouse changes their mind as well and loses interest in what they think they want.

      1. William Mougayar

        “Kicking the can down the road” has been a popular metaphor used by Gavin Andresen, Bitcoin core developer re: the block size debate. But I’ve already gone too technical now 🙂

      2. PhilipSugar

        That is part of the reason the backyard is in flux. Only works for so long.

        1. LE

          Well for god’s sake you are traveling 100 days per year it’s surprising you are able to get anything done at the house it must be exhausting to have to manage things when you aren’t around all of the time. My office is 4 minutes from my house and we’ve had the bathroom in process since June and it’s still not done and has totally messed with my schedule. It would have went better if I wanted to babysit the contractors and what they are doing or even if my wife was around to do that but that is not what we wanted to do.

  3. JimHirshfield

    I read that the taxis are releasing an app.

    1. William Mougayar

      …called Arro. What a bad name.

      1. Eric Satz

        name won’t matter. it’s the taxi app. they are still more visible than uber vehicles and if i don’t have to get my wallet out that works for me.

        1. LE

          Name always matter it’s just a matter of degree. Shows laziness and that whoever is in charge is clueless, relying on bad advice, or somehow married to this name for some reason that doesn’t matter business wise.If they get big enough of course it won’t matter but in the formative stages you need every cylinder firing.

        2. William Mougayar

          But it is still a bad name, and shows they don’t understand the power of branding.

      2. LE

        Yep exactly I sometimes wonder who is driving the naming bus.

  4. kirklove

    Your last sentence is more apt than you think:…Check out West 4th! Ancient and awesome!I love the NYC Subway so much.

    1. Erin

      Wow that’s amazing how it still all works. I guess they did build things to last back then.Although “if there was any small fire, there’s a lot of risk of us losing this entire interlocking machine because it would be so hard to contain the fire” doesn’t inspire THAT much confidence.

    2. LE

      That is the coolest thing. Thanks for posting. Reminds me of videos you see from time to time of the Soviet Union artifacts of the Cold War.That said the MTA publishing a video like that is a big security risk. If the system is so critical, my question would be (if I am elected mayor) how secure is that facility? They are essentially educating and informing a terrorist that would have a trivial time bringing down that facility and halting travel in certain parts of NYC. In the past if a video like this were on PBS would still be a problem but certainly less of a problem. Now it’s available on demand.Of course there are dozens if not thousands of vulnerabilities in any city like this. However publicizing them is not the way to keep them secure. To me the only time you talk about things under the hood is if you are providing disinformation or you feel that there is a compelling reason that you need to do so (so you can release selectively to key decision makers without giving the info to the general public).

    3. fredwilson

      wow. so cool. love that.

      1. LE

        “The taking of Pelham One Two Three” (1974) is a cheezy look at what NYC was like in the 1970’s and has some of those dated underground offices iirc.

    4. Michael Elling

      I really appreciate the improvements since I started riding the subways in 1982. Giving us those arrival signs and the mobile apps (recently) have certainly been a big help, but service has deteriorated a lot over the past 3 years. These network monitoring improvements should have been continual over the past 30 years as the rest of the world went digital. Why did we have to wait until the 2000s? Who knows why inefficiency builds up? Poor management, labor unions? A side note, it was ridiculous that the company chosen to install Wifi and small cells in stations (Transit Wireless) couldn’t run their fiber through the tunnels (and in the process install repeater cells). Instead they had to trench on city streets and drop the fiber down at each station (again limiting service to just the stations and a few hundred feet before and after). Really, really sub-optimal when one thinks about the potential cost savings and improved service. But my biggest gripe typically is when trains and buses get bottlenecked and there is no coordinated way to clear the congestion; especially when we were waiting for 5-10 minutes and know there is nothing ahead in the system and the next stop is just as crowded as the one we got on yet trains/buses behind us are empty.

      1. kirklove

        I have zero knowledge of the NYC Subway decision making processes. My guess though is it’s political and preferential. Hard to buck existing players and a lot of palms to grease to get anything done.

  5. William Mougayar

    In other news, NYC taxis are testing an UBER like App called Arro. Has anyone tried it yet?

  6. Twain Twain

    Interesting there isn’t a big fat green patch next to JFK or La Guardia airports because that’s where we’d expect uber/taxi pickups to be high.Lots of green on Greenwich & West Village side I get because NY subway is not that great there; as anyone having to switch to A, C & E lines would know. Love BDNQ.

    1. JimHirshfield

      I think the study excluded non residential areas… Note sub text on graphic, “Residential…”

      1. Twain Twain

        A-ha! Thanks.It’d be interesting to also get a map of the streets where the Ubers/taxis drive along to understand two things:(1.) which drivers are indeed taking quickest, shortest route; and(2.) how much / little congestion they’re adding to that street.

  7. awaldstein

    Agree and of course add CitiBike to that list.But when I’m in LA I use Uber all the time. Many friends there have sold their cars and find it more economical to Uber everywhere.

    1. William Mougayar

      What’s the break even on UBER vs. own car roughly?

      1. awaldstein

        Here’s a slice of that:…As well, just helped build a team in LA and exec perks often include Uber accounts. It’s an asset there and makes sense. In other places don’t have the data.

        1. Donna Brewington White

          I’ve seen that increasingly. One client has a weekly happy hour with free Uber for all employees.

      2. pointsnfigures

        Nate shows that in the article, and talks about it based on income demographic as well.

      3. Richard

        Mistake people make in this calculation is that they don’t adjust for life style change.

      4. Sandy

        Uber users don’t really care about the cost difference.Uber vs owning car is really about – how much does Uber decrease your cognitive load (so you can focus on only the important things), and how much extra time does it give you.To me, Uber doesn’t sell transportation. I can get from A to B for a lower price and often easier than Uber, so I agree with the huge number of mass transit users – I wouldn’t use Uber for transportation either.But Uber doesn’t sell transportation. Uber sells focus and time at the lowest price. I’ll pay for that all day every day.Years ago, I had replaced my car with taxis. I replaced taxis with Uber. I want to switch to Lyft, but Lyft sells transportation, not focus and time. So Uber it is.

    2. Eric Satz

      i was going to make the exact same bike point. in manhattan, and most dense cities, walking is my preference. if time is an issue, mass transit always works best. in between, the bike option is awesome.

      1. awaldstein

        yup i’m with you and @JamesWalterDay:disqus of course.I first realized this when I had a client in Paris and was there once a month a decade ago and used Veleb everyday.And yup I love CitiBike (buy passes for employees as well):Citibike…urban product design at its best

        1. PhilipSugar

          If you have ever been hit by a car when you are not in one, that is a game changer.

    3. PhilipSugar

      Totally right. Doesn’t change the game in NYC. In the rest of the country??? Three game changers1. Get rid of your car in a semi urban setting2. Not rent a car in a place that formerly meant you had to: LA, Dallas, etc.3. Ferry your kids around to their different stuff and have a spouse work not be a taxi driver.

      1. LE

        The “ferry your kids around” is a great use case. And with that there would be in some people’s mind an additional benefit. Mom’s wouldn’t need big honking SUV’s in order to car pool to the kids soccer games. Some mom’s of course that I know of specifically won’t buy anything large for fear of being the mom who ends up having to do the majority of the driving.In other news BMW is claiming to go big with electric in 10 years. Hard to say if this means no ICE or not.…German luxury car giant Bayerische Motoren Werke AG or BMW Group (BAMXY, BAMXF, BMW.L) is looking to go all-electric over the next 10 years due to the upcoming stricter carbon emission laws. Virtually every BMW model would be converted to electric drivetrains, including range-extending engines and plug-in hybrids.

        1. PhilipSugar

          My wife loves ferrying the kids around. Just went out and took a picture of her ride

          1. LE

            My ex wife was like that my current wife is almost the opposite. The car she is getting has a third row and she will remove the third row from the car.

          2. PhilipSugar

            Church, bridge over the bay, and mine is a five bay like you have in your picture.Yes. Very customized Denali.

          3. LE

            Wow. That’s secret service grade a Denali, eh? Your street reminds me of Newtown PA that is any small town USA. In the background looks like a train track, church and industrial space. Or maybe storage for the Church….

    4. Jim Day

      Citibike strikes me as more of a game changer (April-October, anyway) once it is expanded to all of NYC and not just lower Manhattan and Brooklyn.

    5. LE

      Are these friends living in a city center or on a suburban street? Hard for me to believe that anyone living in the suburbs is not going to want to have a car in their driveway or garage at their disposal.Plus what do you do if you want to go to a store? Do you have the uber wait for you or do you call another one?

      1. PhilipSugar

        If you live in a city where car ownership is a possibility, Uber is a viable alternative. Philly, Boston, LA, Dallas, etc. You wait less for an Uber than you do to find parking.Now out where I live??? No way. I personally own three cars, and that is the least I’ve ever owned (seven was the most),Parking??? Free and easyWhere you drive??? Free and easyNeed for a car??? TotallyAnd this is even that I can walk to five restaurants and hotels, but if you don’t have a car???? Sunk.

        1. LE

          I could easily walk, bike or segway to work (I considered buying one just for fun). However I like having a car at my disposal. For more than the obvious reasons also. For one thing I can keep all sorts of things that I might need when I am out doing something in the hatch extra clothes, spare this spare that, laptop (which I always travel with) and so on. I don’t have to think and be as prepared when I have a traveling storage closet.For that matter even though I exercise every single day (and have for more years than I can remember) I still drive my car from my parking space outside my office to the Starbucks across the street rather than walking. It’s not because I am lazy quite the opposite. It’s because I am on a different time frame mindset during the work day and have no interest in spending any more time than I need to to do something.One thing I have noticed though is that with Amazon I have less of a reason for a SUV and in fact actually didn’t even have one for the last two cars I had. I no longer really go to Staples to pick things up I just order on Amazon and have things delivered.

          1. PhilipSugar

            Always need a pickup truck.

          2. LE

            Hey – why aren’t those nail/screw holes filled with putty?

          3. PhilipSugar

            Just got redone. Coat of putty and then repaint. Notice the backyard is in total flux as well. Old bricks are going to line that path, they stump has to go, etc.

      2. awaldstein

        Marina del Rey, Venice Beach, West Hollywood.

      3. awaldstein

        Never used one?

        1. LE

          Nope never used one don’t have any reason to really. For the amount of time I need to take taxis I don’t have any problem with taking taxis. Also I don’t reinvent a wheel that isn’t broken. I stick with what works. Of course if my use of taxis ever got to the point that I had issues with them then I would use uber.Something like Uber would have come in handy for my parents or perhaps my mom now. But she doesn’t use a smartphone so she really isn’t a candidate. (My dad had all sorts of computers and iphones and so on and was very tech saavy for his age).Was a time when my parents had to travel at night to a shiva on another side of town. Difficult at their age. Anyway they did drive and it was very difficult getting there. I asked them why they didn’t just get a driver to take them (money is not an issue). They looked at me like I was from another planet simply because they had no social proof of their friends doing that type of thing (living in the suburbs).

          1. awaldstein

            True if you live in the suburbs and don’t travel it doesn’t touch your world.It surprises me as you are so intellectually curious that you haven’t tried it though.In abstract is it meaningless. On a cold night or stranded on some street corner in LA its a game changer.

    6. Donna Brewington White

      I was going to an event in Santa Monica with one of my team members who lives there and she suggested I park at her house and then we take Uber to avoid parking and congestion. Just a normal thing to do.

  8. Pranay Srinivasan

    I’d love to see the same analysis for Kansas City, MO – Where public transport sucks and Uber is a game changer for pickups – increases mobility and reduces cost of ownership both for drivers and for non owners.

    1. Brad Cummings

      Agreed. Richmond is about to spend $50M on a ‘fast bus’ service that will theoretically increase property values, may help create jobs, and definitely alters street parking on the route. How about we use that same money & simply subsidize Uber rides instead? Definitely more jobs & no parking heartburn (and no two years of construction on the busiest street in town). Also, then you’re not locked into a mass transit infrastructure that might not match future population needs.

  9. mikenolan99

    One wonders how different our cities would be if the Trolly car system had not fallen to the rise of the automobile?Fascinating history here –… – the basics are that many automobile companies created a group to buy up and lobby for regulations against trolly cars. Remember Jessica Rabbit? It’s the premiss of the movie – but without uncomfortably attractive animation.From the Wiki – In 2010 CBS’s Mark Henricks reported:There is no question that a GM-controlled entity called National City Lines did buy a number of municipal trolley car systems. And it’s beyond doubt that, before too many years went by, those street car operations were closed down. It’s also true that GM was convicted in a post-war trial of conspiring to monopolize the market for transportation equipment and supplies sold to local bus companies. What’s not true is that the explanation for these events is a nefarious plot to trade private corporate profits for viable public transportation.

    1. mikenolan99

      So here’s the Hollywood pitch: Uber, Lyft, etc. form a syndicate to support privatization of the NYC subway – then the syndicate shuts down the subway as a way to bolster sales.That’s all for now – my black helicopter is waiting to take me to a Super Pac meeting….

  10. William Mougayar

    Where this is also going is towards increased ride sharing of regular cars. This trend is already happening in Europe.

  11. Tom Labus

    In Manhattan, the best option is to walk and enjoy the city.

    1. Donna Brewington White

      Had a nice 1+ mile walk IN HEELS from Union Square to the AVC 10th anniversary gathering with Matt Myers a few years back. Great exercise and immersion experience. Amazing to a Midwestern Californian how much is packed into a NYC mile!

      1. Matt A. Myers

        I look forward to doing the same on AVC’s 20th anniversary.

        1. Donna Brewington White

          You’re on! (And just taught my phone to spell your name correctly.)

      2. Tom Labus

        We need to walk down lower 5th to Washington Square Park. Good walk.

  12. John Revay

    Mass Transit – it generally works, fairly on time, scheduled, cheap, less traffic.

  13. Val Tsanev

    Mass transit will always be the preferred option in NYC, it is an integral part of NYC’s lifestyle. Do you remember when there was the MTA strike? The City came to a halt! If Uber stopped serving NYC tomorrow nobody would really care that much because the subway was and always will be the preferred form of transportation.

    1. Mario Cantin

      I see the same thing in Toronto. When I first read Fred’s post this morning I thought it makes sense on a cost-per-ride basis that the public transit be getting the largest piece of the pie, but your comment reminded me of the fact, for instance, that many of my well-off Toronto clients opt in to take the subway every morning to go to their respective offices. One of our former mayors (Miller) could be seen every week day riding the tube.So it’s lifestyle / culture here too.

      1. Val Tsanev

        Yes Mario I agree with you, it is lifestyle and culture. I love Toronto beautiful city, too cold in the winter.

        1. Mario Cantin

          Ha ha, yep the winters are definitely frigid. I’d much rather spend them somewhere between San Diego and SF.

      2. Richard

        Brutal lineup (jays) !

        1. Mario Cantin

          Sorry to let you down but I don’t follow baseball. I’m too busy reading Fred’s blog as well as others’ LOL!

  14. lauren

    VIA is the future of NYC subways, it’s an amazing service and hopefully will expand beyond Manhattan soon.

  15. Brian W. Williams

    “… and will likely be the case for the next hundred years as well.” I love the subway here in DC (which is more spread out), but I wonder if the subway part of this statement will be true as self-driving vehicles become common (and low cost). The costs to build, expand, and maintain subway systems are enormous. Self-driving cars, trucks, and buses that can quickly flex up/down to address changes in capacity needs and swap in/out for maintenance (among many other advantages) … that seems like the future, hopefully inside 100 years. Hurry up!

    1. Matt Zagaja

      In Connecticut we built bus rapid transit instead of rail for many of these reasons. I don’t think Uber can replace public transit because the lack of dedicated right of ways makes their reliability a bit more variable. Not a huge deal over long commute times, but for people whose commutes are 15 minutes, a 10 minute differential is quite material.

  16. LIAD

    Not necessarily. It’s all about convenience and cost. Is it inconceivable that Uber can achieve parity on those fronts vs mass transit. Unlikely yes. Inconceivable, especially when you throw in self-driving cars, no.I remember when ecommerce couldn’t compete with bricks and mortar because of shipping times and associated costs. Laughable now.

  17. PhilipSugar

    Let me start off and say I am no Travis fan and I think Ubers valuation is stupid because somebody can come in replicate for less money to the drivers. BUTNew York is New York. In the U.S. one and only.Uber is a game changer for Boston. Same for Dallas and so many other citiesI’ve lived in all of those cities. I travel 100 nights a year.Uber truly has changed things and not just for people like me but normal people that don’t travel a stupid amount.It means you can instantly hail and see when a car is coming to pick you up. You know your experience is going to be about 100 times better than a cab because you rate your driver. And you can see where you are going not get taken around the block. Game changer.Ask your Uber driver sometime. 30% of her fares are kids. Yup. Trust your kid to a cab?? Uber??? People have voted.

    1. Donna Brewington White

      Before all the negativity about Uber, putting the app on my son’s phone was part of his preparation for going to school in New York.

    2. kidmercury

      the rates on uber are way too low; drivers don’t make enough money, and i highly doubt many of them are paying the insurance fees the insurance providers would charge them if they knew the driver was on uber. uber is trying to buy their time until they can get to automated cars, though that strikes me as a very risky bet. if they need to raise prices, which i think they will, then i think demand will fall considerably.personally i live in chicago and we love taking uber when it is 60% of the cost of a cab ride. when it goes up, as is the case with surge pricing, uber becomes a lot less appealing and we opt for mass transit. i doubt this perspective is unique.

      1. LE

        In a sense this is really quite similar to what happens with immigrant and actually non immigrant run small businesses, bodegas, gas stations, liquor stores, cleaning services etc. Business is able to survive because of all of the corners that they cut (that larger businesses can’t) including, but not limited to:a) Cash which they don’t pay taxes onb) Employees which they don’t pay taxes on “under the table”c) Rules, inspections, regulations which they can skirt.d) Taxes which they don’t pay (sales tax on some purchases).e) Personal expenses which they can pass off as business expenses.Not that it’s limited to immigrant businesses many small business essentially plays by similar rules.Would also add the if they driver has a car under new car warranty I am pretty certain that it has an exclusion for using a car for hire as oppose to personal use or business use.On the insurance when you get car insurance they ask you “business or pleasure” as well as how many miles you commute.

      2. PhilipSugar

        Not sure. It might be ok if the prices to the driver went up. More drivers and they have gotten people “hoooked”. What will have to come down is Ubers cut.Outside of NYC you really used to have two choices: have a car or have a driver. Cabs were so unreliable and disgusting that they really were a last resort.Uber changed that.1. If you live in a semi urban area not owning a car is an option2. I can take MARTA, BART, L, etc and know once I am in the city Uber3. Where I live Cabs were really never an option Uber now is that means: a. Date night we can both choose to drink b. College kids don’t have to have a car c. The kids could get shuttled and both spouses can be at the office

        1. kidmercury

          a bloomberg article from 2 months ago listed uber as losing $470 million trailing 12 months. uber responded by saying those numbers were old but did not disclose new those type of losses, uber has a few options:1. decrease costs (automated cars)2. come up with new business models, i.e. uber eats, or leveraging their data3. raise pricesuber may have opened a market in semi-urban locations, but the service is designed for dense networks that are compatible with cities and many other digital business models. they may get some revenue from the semi-urban stuff, but it will be hard for that to be uber’s point is that the company has a math problem. i don’t dispute the fun of the service, only the viability of its mathematics.

          1. ErikSchwartz

            Automated cars means Uber eats both the depreciation and more importantly the downtime. The brilliance of Uber is not needing to own enough idle, depreciating, assets to handle peak usage.Driver owns the car Uber spends money only when Uber is making moneyUber owns the car Uber spends money 24/7If Uber owns the cars they become an airline.

          2. PhilipSugar

            Sorry can only upvote once.

          3. Michael Brill

            Seems like depreciation+operating costs would be way less than what Uber pays now for human drivers. Even if you assume a driver today nets only $10/hour after operating costs (and that Uber’s operating costs are similar) and that Uber can keep a car busy for only 8 hours/day, that’s $80*30= $2400/month going to a human that could go to depreciation instead. The monthly depreciation (in today’s dollars) will probably be no more than $500.It also seems highly likely that Uber will find plenty of things for these vehicles to do when not ferrying around people… like moving packages, policing, cleaning, etc.It’s hard for me to imagine their economics getting worse once you remove human drivers.

          4. ErikSchwartz

            Given how peaky Uber’s business is I think getting 33% utilization is a fantasy.Depreciation is the secondary cost. The primary costs are owning idle assets. If you own the cars (self driving or not) you are in the business of managing peak to average ratios. This is why I said they are in the airline business.Right now both Uber’s revenue and costs are shown by the integral of the curve. When Uber’s revenue is low their costs are low.If Uber owns the cars they need to pay for a system to handle the peak but they only make money on the average.

          5. Michael Brill

            Since we’re talking 10 years from now, assumptions based on today’s patterns probably don’t hold. Right now Uber moves people. But think of all the other stuff that’s moved around and that’s fair game – you can fill in some holes pretty quickly.On top of that, Uber can augment their own fleet with on-demand contractors as required. So then you reduce the size of their required fleet.Airlines are in a much less flexible business. Hard to justify delivering a pizza in an A380.Hard to know without actually doing the math, but people – even poorly-paid people = are really expensive relative to a chunk of metal on wheels.

          6. ErikSchwartz

            You think people are going to start partying on Tuesday nights? :-)There are really big last 50 foot problems to using autonomous cars (on top of all the other issues with autonomous cars) for delivery of inanimate objects especially in urban environments without driveways (Uber’s sweet spot). I suspect the solution to those problems will show using the kind of cars Uber’s human riders like not well optimized for delivery of stuff.If Uber owns cars then their model is like every other car service business around. Like I said, their genius is not the app, their genius is offloading the peak to average downside differential on their workforce.But I suspect we just disagree.

          7. Michael Brill

            I don’t pretend to know what will happen in 10 years… the last 50 foot problem is a great example. Do we need to actually deliver everything to people’s doors? Will we have robot-accessible lockboxes? Maybe larger lockboxes easily accessible by automation every few blocks is sufficient? Is a “car” a car? Can a basic vehicle platform be easily configured for human travel vs. packages?Admittedly, I tend to be optimistic about these things and view the potential as software+hardware, not simply exploiting humans. Since I don’t have a horse in the race, it’s certainly more fun that way!

          8. Michael Brill

            It also just occurred to me that since nobody will have a job in 10 years, Tuesday night is as good as any to start partying. 😉

          9. kidmercury

            at least 70% of the insufficient fee goes to drivers. uber may take on greater physical cost, but at the opportunity of getting 70% more revenue per ride — plus the ability to precisely control how vehicles are deployed, predictively deploy them to optimize allocation, etc.

    3. ErikSchwartz

      It’s against Uber’s TOS to put your kids in an Uber.

      1. PhilipSugar

        Well there are a ton of people doing that. I wonder if Uber has ever done something against established terms of service :-)I wonder why they let me monitor the ride???

        1. ErikSchwartz

          “The Service is not available for use by persons under the age of 18. You may not authorize third parties to use your Account, and you may not allow persons under the age of 18 to receive transportation or logistics services from Third Party Providers unless they are accompanied by you.”…

  18. BillMcNeely

    In the Dallas/ Ft Worth area public transportation is pretty much a joke. everybody drives and it’s hard to get places otherwise. I have noticed lately I get a real mix of economic classes taking my service so the cut in rates ( at my loss) has helped in this regard

  19. Richard

    what people in NYC fail to appreciate is in most cities and town cabs look like regular cars and kids have been using them (car services) for decades. The killer application for uber is outside of the NYC (Manhattan) not in.

  20. pointsnfigures

    Ridesharing is additive in big cities. There will be a day when driverless cars make it even more economical since the fare will only go to pay for operation, insurance and upkeep on the car, not the labor to drive it around. I know people in wealthier suburbs that are using ridesharing companies to haul their kids around. The parents stay home and make dinner rather than go to a fast food place. Great case of innovation being adopted by the wealthy creating streams of revenue and time so tech can move forward and then get adopted by the masses.

    1. PhilipSugar

      See my comment. I survey every driver. They say 30% of their business is kids.

  21. Shalabh

    Thanks for sharing the article. I really enjoyed reading the article. My eyes got stuck on this infographic. Given, that Uber is cheaper than Taxis, it was surprising that those with median incomes of less than $50,000 are using Taxis more than Uber. I could think of two possible reasons:1. They don’t own a smartphone / data plan and so are not able to use Uber.2. They don’t appreciate / understand Uber.Also interesting to note is that the income group $50,000-$70,000 is the only group that uses Uber more than Taxis. I am guessing, most of them are young college grads.Lastly, the income group above $150,000, order more Uber as a percentage of their total no. of rides than the income group $125,000-$150,000. Uber’s convenience and overall much better experience plays a more important role here than the fact that it is cheaper, I think.

    1. Michael Elling

      One other thing is the cash-based segment of our society.

      1. Shalabh

        Yes absolutely. In India, this segment is huge. Not surprisingly Uber accepts cash payments in India. Do you think the cash base segment would be more concentrated in the 0-$50K income bracket?

        1. Michael Elling

          It is.

  22. Matt A. Myers

    Anastasia and I are in NYC right now doing outreach to yoga instructors — we both have an unlimited Metro pass and then take Uber or Lyft to destinations that don’t have easy transit to them; we didn’t get Metro pass with bus. Uber seems to always be cheaper.. ranging from 20 cents to $3 cheaper so far from our experiences.EDIT: Meant to add we always travel with Uber/Lyft Line/Pool. Only had a person picked up one out of many times.

  23. Michael Brill

    You could argue that the real, real transportation action is walking. But nobody’s making money on walking transit… just like nobody makes money on mass transit. It would be interesting to look at as a $$ market instead of nominal rides. The only numbers given in the study show the average cost of Uber as > 7X subway. Now that 12X becomes closer to something like 1.5X on a dollar basis. With pooling, new vehicle configurations, autonomous vehicles, alternative fuels, etc., it’s not obvious to me that the next 100 years looks at all like the past hundred.

  24. The Rideshare Guy

    As the article alludes to, the real market for Uber is getting car-owners to ditch their cars in favor of Uber. I think public transportation may be an ally in that battle but at the end of the day, Uber’s ultimate goal is to be public transportation for the US and entire world.This article was likely written before Josh Constine’s TC article about Uber’s new smart routes that basically mimic public transportation lines in SF but I think that really shows the direction Uber is headed in.Uber can’t cut out the cost of the driver until driverless cars come along, but they can cut the cost of the ride nearly in half with innovations like UberPool or get riders to walk a block or two which means more efficiency for drivers.Obviously, this allows Uber to keep lowering rates for passengers/drivers and making up with it with increased utilization/efficiency. Not such a great thing for drivers since they have to work harder for the same amount of pay but it does mean passengers will be paying less and less for their UberX rides, eventually to the point where it makes sense to ditch their car, and maybe even ditch public transportation.

  25. DeForest Mapp

    As someone who is rather new to NY, uber is a nice way to get to your destination rather quickly via surface streets to get somewhere on time. The city becomes less intimidating when you have options. Once I got the hang of the subways, I laid off uber so much. But, when, I needed to get to my stop to catch the last BM2 express bus, uber gets me from the places in the upper west side to my stop. It’s a great tool amongst many to get around.

  26. Semil Shah

    I think the point though here is very few cities have or will have mass transit like NYC, which is a shame, though there are big benefits to not locking into fixed rail structures.

  27. B. Llewellyn Shepard

    I wonder where NYC’s super-fast-rising ferry service fits into this picture?Ever since Hurricane Sandy washed my car away, I use one of the following combinations to get home from work:1 – Subway to Uber2 – Subway to Ferry (preferred, but it stops running at 8:30.)Just anecdotally? Ridership from pier 11, into Brooklyn, is through the roof over the last 3 years.

  28. Pete Griffiths

    Wouldn’t Manhattan be wonderful if we banned all cars – public transport, bikes, scooters and skates….A guy can dream.

  29. Andrea Malfer Poma

    “and will likely be the case for the next hundred years as well”Hello Fred, I don’t particularly agree with your last sentence. My personal view is that players like Google and Apple with their respective projects (Google car and Apple car) will change the way we intend transportation, and that will apply to mass transit as well.If (and it’s a big if) they will be able to compete on speed, once I own a car that comes to pick me up in front of my door and drops me anywhere I want without any parking problem, even the metro might lose its advantage.

  30. Jeremy

    Taxis response to Uber: Flywheel

  31. Michael Elling

    4 solutions to raise profitability and narrow the gap with car ownership (even before driverless cars):1) plan ahead option: I’m going into a meeting from 12-2pm and want an Uber waiting at 2pm to take me to a 2:30 meeting.2) buy bulk blocks of rides for a discount. As more and more heavy users do this, Uber can manage it’s algorithms to estimate typical usage.3) work with car rental companies or car owners (drivers or just sharers) to deliver car rentals directly to someone’s door for extended, personal use.4) Coordinate with Citibike and even provide mass transit alternatives which might be faster and cheaper than using Uber. I know this latter one sounds heretical and antithetical but it will actually increase usage and reliance on the service over time.Other than commuting (Silver states 10x more people commute by car than taxi/uber), people own cars in NYC to get out of town. These solutions would alleviate a lot of the headaches of renting or planning ahead and therefore cut down on car ownership (and parking) significantly. In the process Uber would fill its cars (and drivers’) time more efficiently. It’s all about anticipating demand and filling up supply as much as possible to drive the marginal cost down and profit margins up; something we know from networks (physical and digital).Much as with analog/digital wireless conversion in 1996, everyone is focused on “peak” demand. That’s wrong, one has to fill the emtpy spaces. To do that Uber needs to think of themselves as a complete transportation solution and not just an on-demand, real-time, radio taxi service.

  32. LE

    Perhaps the answer to this (for taxis) is for the city to offer up medallions [1] that must pickup fares in outlying areas for “x amount of time” whereby they are converted to medallions that can operate elsewhere. In the system that we have you simply can’t expect people to go where it isn’t in their best interest to go. If I was a driver and if you were a driver I am guessing we would also go where the money, where we felt safer, and where we got larger tips. Actually I don’t have to guess I know I would do that and so would you.My father in law taught in Harlem for many years in exchange for extra pay and benefits that allowed him to retire early. And after teaching there he needed to retire early because the jungle and stress had taken a big toll on him what I can tell.That said we don’t need the overlay since we already know the answer to the question.[1] And I know this isn’t possible however some incentive could potentially change behavior. Maybe even gasp some public subsidy [2] since this is a public problem to be solved not a private enterprise problem.[2] Or tax incentive actually…similar to the use of enterprise zones.