A look at the impact ride-sharing has had on NYC's taxis

Ride-sharing services have transformed transportation in New York City, and now a new, interactive data hub is helping the New York City Taxi and Limousine and Commission determine how much the ride-sharing apps have impacted the industry. 

“It used to be the apps had all the information, and we didn’t,” said Bill Heinzen, the Taxi and Limousine Commission’s acting commissioner. “And as a regulator it’s very hard to make policy when you don’t know the facts on the ground.”

The tool shows how many trips yellow cabs make on any given day in any given neighborhood compared to ride-sharing and for-hire vehicles.

The data shows that yellow cabs have been steadily losing riders while ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft are gaining them.

“Now we know the facts on the ground, we’ve been able to make really, we think, important policy in this area,” Heinzen said. 

Those policies include helping the TLC decide to extend the cap on the number of licenses for new for-hire cars. The data also has convinced the TLC to limit the amount of time drivers can cruise in a congested area without a passenger, in order to improve traffic flow and air quality.