Half of New Yorkers who use ride-hailing apps said they ordered a ride instead of taking public transit, a new city report says.
Some straphangers have ditched the subway for Uber as for-hire vehicles have flooded the New York City’s streets, a new Department of Transportation report shows. Half of the people who use ride-hailing services say they replace public transit trips with rides ordered from an app, according to the city’s annual “Mobility Report” published Friday.
“New York City is now moving more people than ever, but several new trends — including declines in mass transit ridership and slower travel times, combined with more car ownership and for-hire vehicle trips — are together causes for concern,” city Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said in a statement.
The for-hire vehicle boom coincided with the first drop in subway ridership since 2010, according to the report, which analyzes transportation trends based on figures from 2016 and 2017.
The city added 13,000 registrations for for-hire vehicles — a category that includes black cars, livery cars and taxis — in 2016 for a total of 85,200, a number that’s more than doubled since 2010.
Ride-hailing vehicles took 158 million trips last year — outnumbering taxi trips for the first time — up from 92.5 million in 2016.
Meanwhile, ridership on the beleaguered subway system dropped slightly to about 1.75 billion in 2016 while bus ridership declined for the third straight year. The average bus speed also dipped to a sluggish 7.44 MPH.
Some 35 percent of New Yorkers use ride-hailing apps, according to last year’s inaugural “Citywide Mobility Survey.” Fifty percent of them said they used the services instead of taking public transit, the report says, while 43 percent said they used them to replace taxi or car service trips.
The data shows the popularity and scale of the ride-hailing industry at a time when city lawmakers are trying to restrict its growth.
The City Council is considering several bills that would more strictly regulate Uber and similar companies, including a temporary cap on new for-hire vehicle licenses. Taxi advocates argue the app-based services have increased pressure on their industry, even pushing some cabbies to suicide.
The report also shows a parallel decline in the use of traditional taxis. There were 110 million taxi trips recorded last year, down from 128.5 million in 2016. Taxi trips have decreased in each year since 2010.
Nearly a third of surveyed New Yorkers — 32 percent — said they use a car as their primary mode of transportation despite the fact that the average traffic speed slowed to just 7.1 MPH last year in Manhattan below 60th Street. The number of household vehicle registrations also rose to about 1.9 million in 2016.
A majority of New Yorkers, though, choose sustainable modes of transportation, the report says. Some 28 percent said they primarily walk, 23 percent take the subway, 8 percent ride the bus and 3 percent bike.
Noah Manskar [Patch]