Uber may have reached a tipping point in New York City — and that’s bad news for taxis


    Morgan Stanley Adam Jonas calculates that Uber now has more “rider-share” than cabs in NYC. The value of an NYC taxi medallion has plunged. Uber’s business is growing in NY while taxis are on the decline.

Morgan Stanley auto analyst Adam Jonas published a research note on Monday in which he assessed some trends for raid-hailing-services and taxi patronage in the city that never sleeps.

For traditional cabs, the story isn’t good.

“We believe that Uber now has a larger share of the mobility ‘pie’ in New York City than yellow taxis,” he wrote, adding that “trips/day, vehicles, and drivers have all increased substantially [year-over-year] across the board for rideshare apps, and decreased [year-over-year] for taxis.”

But perhaps the most startling data point that Jonas grappled with was the plummeting value of an NYC taxi medallion – in practice, a chunk of plastic affixed to a cab’s hood, and in effect a license to operate a taxi in the city:

[T]he impact on the taxi industry, both individual medallion owners and fleet operators, appears far worse than even the data … would indicate. Medallion values have fallen from a peak of roughly $1.3 million in 2014 to under $200,000 in certain cases (i.e. foreclosures). According to the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission, recent medallion transfers range from roughly $400,000 to under $200,000, largely driven by declining revenue streams for the owners.

That’s a stunning drop and tells us more about how Uber, primarily, has completely changed how New Yorkers get around.