Leonard Steinberg's real-estate brokerage named Compass has spent years involved in the sales of homes in New York City, often those purchased by very wealthy residents. He claims that buyers are much more open to considering different neighborhoods than they were five years ago. He finds his buyers open to viewing property on the Upper East Side, Tribeca, Hudson Yards and many more, based largely on the emergence of ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft. He says that much of this is due to the possibility of being productive during the commute to the city. Riders can now simply use their mobile devices during the quiet ride to work or home and not waste valuable time.
Rideshare Company Impact on Taxis
Although ride-share availability has enabled residents to consider a wider array of areas for housing, it has had some negative effects on others. New York City has seen a transition from usage of taxis to ride-share companies. Uber is currently controlling 54% of the overall market share; however, their growth in receipts has slowed recently. Lyft has surpassed traditional taxis by 7% and is still growing. Car rentals in the region are down 28% and facing some adversity. According to CNBC, Uber has surpassed taxis for the volume of trips. They report now that New York taxi services have experienced 35 straight months of diminishing trips per day and revenue.
Decline in Mass Transit
The New York City system of mass transit is struggling, as the volume of bus riders has fallen significantly. The subways, which have long been a part of the economy, are also experiencing a drop in ridership. Some of this can be attributed to poor service resulting from delays and constant mechanical problems. Research suggests that “transportation network companies” are attracting many affluent riders away from trains.
This reduction in revenue may have a disproportionate impact on those with lower-income who may be unable to consider rideshare options. In 2016, there was an estimated 19 million fewer passengers compared to the prior year. There was not a decline in the volume of tourists or residents in the region. Currently, it is estimated that over 50,000 vehicles in the city are operating for rideshare providers. Adrian Durbin, a spokesman for Lyft, told the New York Times that the company seeks to replace the need for owning a private car, not to reduce the usage of public transit, bicycling, or walking.
Traffic is Worsening
Between 2010 and 2017, the average traffic speed has dropped to 6 miles per hour in Manhattan—a 15% decline. INRIX, an analytics company, estimated that the city's economy lost $17 billion as a result of lost time and additional fuel costs. Meanwhile, the city's population between 2010 and 2017 rose by 4%. Traditionally, when the city was growing, there was an increase in usage of mass transit. With rideshare companies increasingly traveling the streets, aiding in road congestion, emergency responders, delivery vehicles, and buses are compromised.
Throughout any city's history, the change in transportation has always inspired or coincided with the movement of its residents. Today, the same dynamic is upon us.