How does the drop in taxi use in nearby cities compare to West Hollywood?
In a companion report, we estimated that West Hollywood taxi use is down at least 40% to 60% since Uber launched in Los Angeles in 2012. How do the other Westside cities compare?
Beverly Hills taxi trips fell 42% from the summer before Uber launched to the summer of 2015. Thirty thousand trips a month were cut to less than 18,000. The number dropped further to 14,000 a month by the beginning of 2016. That was 54% lower than the summer before Uber. If we had data for the rest of 2016, we might see an additional decline.
For Culver City, we’re using the City’s taxi permit revenue as a proxy for trips, since we don’t have trip, vehicle, or driver data in hand. Taxi permit revenue fell 60% between the 2012 and 2016 fiscal years. The FY2012 revenue number was unusually large, but even if we used FY2013 as our base year, permit revenue still dropped 36% over three years.
The number of taxi trips in Los Angeles fell 44% from 2012 to 2016. It went from 8.4 million to 4.7 million, a loss of 3.7 million trips. That’s 10,000 lost trips a day. The biggest declines over the first three years were on the Westside, in Hollywood, and Downtown, according to the Los Angeles Times.
If it weren’t for Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), the overall decline in taxi trips would have been about 60%. Non-LAX hailed and dispatched trips fell 62% and 55%, respectively, from 2012 to 2016. LAX trips grew 20% over the period.
That growth was possible because Uber and Lyft weren’t allowed to pick up passengers at LAX until the beginning of 2016. LAX taxi trips rose 41% from 2012 to 2015. Those gains were cut in half in 2016 as Uber and Lyft rapidly captured market share from the taxis. It took them less than five months to best the taxis in number of LAX pickups. By the beginning of 2017, they handled almost twice as many LAX pickups as the taxis.
If we exclude LAX trips — because Uber and Lyft couldn’t compete there until 2016 — we see that Los Angeles taxi trips dropped about 25% a year for the last three years. There’s nothing in the numbers to suggest that the bottom has been reached.
Santa Monica taxi trips fell 52% in two years, from 2013 to 2015. If we use the City’s estimate for 2016, the total dropped 72% over three years. The number of trips went from over three quarters of a million in 2013 to less than a quarter million in 2016 (estimated).
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