There are currently more than 130,000 limousines in service across the United States. Similarly, there are more than 239,900 taxi cab drivers across the country.
Unfortunately, many taxi companies aren’t able to compete with the changing times and are being forced to go out of business.
In Long Island, where taxis have been extremely popular for decades, ride sharing apps like Uber and Lyft have reshaped the entire transportation sector.
According to Newsday, Lesly Remy, 52, once owned and operated a successful Brentwood-based taxi and limo operation: Long Island Good Guys Taxi and Limo, but now has to shut down his business because he can’t compete with the likes of Uber and Lyft.
Rey said both his incoming calls and total revenue were down 40% due to New York State law allowing Uber and Lyft to operate on Long Island.
“It has hurt us… I’m leaving the business,” Remy said, who plans on fully exciting in June of 2018.
Since June of 2017, ride-hailing companies have enrolled more than 99,000 upstate and Long Island driver applicants in the NY state Department of Motor Vehicles’ License Event Notification System, or LENS, which tracks and reports violations and penalties that affect driving records.
Across the country, in San Francisco, the city’s largest taxi operator was forced to file for bankruptcy for the first time.
“Uber and Lyft are driving down prices for everyone, using their access to capital,” added Aswath Damodaran, professor of finance at the Stern School of Business at New York University. “So, I guess every ride sharing business is at risk, when competing against these two.”
Uber driver Cris Lepurage said he sees the onset of Uber, Lyft, and other ride sharing services as sign of the current fast-paced times.
“Yeah, I understand how the local taxi companies can be upset,” Lepurage said. “But it’s just like with any industry. It’s like when Home Depot came and all the local hardware stores went out of business.”
Though these are exciting times and millennials surely enjoy hailing Ubers and Lyfts, it’s unfortunate that the taxi industry, an industry that has long been a stable of American society, is on its way out.