Uber And Lyft Have Devastated L.A.’s Taxi Industry, City Records Show

by Laura J. Nelson, Los Angeles Times

uber lyft sidecar vehicle

Colin@TheTruthAbout / Wikimedia Commons

The rise of Uber and Lyft has dealt a swift, brutal blow to the Los Angeles taxi industry.

Since the ride-hailing services began operating in Southern California three years ago, the number of L.A. taxi trips arranged in advance has fallen by 42%, according to city records, and the total number of trips has plummeted by nearly 30%.

The steepest drops were in the city’s most popular nightlife and tourist destinations: the Westside, Hollywood and downtown.

The declines point to a dramatic shift wrought by the popular app-based transportation companies, which have wrested market share from taxi companies that have enjoyed decades of dominance in Los Angeles. The decline mirrors what’s happening across the country, as taxis — regulated by local governments on everything from price to the color of their cars — struggle to compete with cheaper, more nimble start-ups.

In San Francisco, the corporate home of both Uber and Lyft, the number of trips taken per taxi dropped by more than two-thirds over a two-year period. Drivers in Boston, Washington and New York City have reported less dramatic declines.

In Los Angeles, the brunt of the downturn has fallen on the drivers, many of whom sit behind the wheel full time …

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