Earlier this week, the Washington Post‘s Emily Badger wrote about how Uber and other ride-share companies are cutting into the taxicab industry’s business in San Francisco. In March 2012—-before UberX and Lyft launched in the city—-each cab averaged around 1,400 trips per month. In July 2014, that number is around 500 trips per month. Oof.
So how would those numbers look in D.C.?
The D.C. Taxicab Commission is in the process of implementing a Taxicab Information System that would allow the commission to collect trip data for each vehicle. For now, early estimates show that the number of rides has dropped from 20 million in 2013 to a projected 18 million in 2014, a 10 percent dip.
The commission draws the data when it collects a 25 cent passenger surcharge from each cab ride in the city’s fleet of approximately 5,700 active cabs. Each cab, according to DCTC spokesman Neville Waters, averages about nine to 10 rides per shift.
Of course, there are many variables that can contribute to this drop, though DCTC expects at least some of it is due to the growing ride-share market.
“Many factors contribute to the decline including climate, seasonal changes & complete withdrawal from the industry by owner/operators,” Waters writes in an email. “While there is no hard data on the impact of ride sharing these services likely contribute to changes in consumer behavior.”
More specific data from the Taxicab Information System is expected in the first quarter of 2015.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery