- Uber and Lyft were forced to raise prices in New York this year after the city imposed a minimum-wage rule for ride-hailing-service drivers.
- Total rides fell in the five boroughs, new data shows, but an analyst says the drop isn’t as bad as some had feared.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
People are taking fewer Uber and Lyft rides in New York City, the United States’ most lucrative and important market for ride-hailing, but an analyst says the drop isn’t as bad as some had feared.
According to data from the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission analyzed by Bloomberg News, the total number of Uber rides fell about 8% from March to May, while Lyft rides fell slightly, by about 0.4%.
New York City earlier this year imposed a minimum-wage law for ride-hailing-service drivers. It was met with stiff opposition from Lyft over how the wage was calculated, and it pushed up passenger fares throughout the five boroughs.
But Eric Sheridan, an analyst at UBS, said the regulatory changes had far less of an effect than some had forecast.
“Data from the NYC TLC indicates that higher prices have had minimal impact on demand (measured as growth in number of trips in high-volume FHV services), indicating Uber & Lyft may have more pricing power than investors think,” he said in a note to clients Tuesday.
“We would argue that observing fairly stable volume growth rates following increasing prices ~10-20% and layering in the $2.75 congestion tax is a positive sign, even if you assume Lyft & Uber gave back some of the base fare price increases in the form of incentives/promotions.”
An Uber representative said that the biggest decline due to price hikes was in the company’s shared rides and that March to April is usually a decline but was larger this year, likely because of the price increases.
Riders who tend to take Uber Pool generally have more price sensitivity, the Uber representative added.
Lyft did not respond to a request for comment.
The minimum-wage rules have “translated into pretty substantial price increases to the consumer,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said on the company’s first-quarter earnings call in May. “But overall, if you look at the dollar growth rate in New York, it’s still a healthy city for us.”
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