Restrictions are lifting, and so, too, are taxi and e-hail app trips.
That’s more passengers for yellow taxi driver Md Azad.
“Before, we make $100, $200. Now, we can make more than $200 every day. That means, it’s good business and so busy,” Azad said.
One reason why is high prices from Uber and Lyft, apps that dominated the taxi industry by undercutting prices from the yellow taxi meter.
“I talk to the passenger, they say, ‘Uber, the charge is too much right now. We come back to taxi,'” Azad said.
Passengers say they’re paying double what they are used to paying.
“I usually pay $25, $30, and I was paying $40, $45,” Katherine Ford said of trips from her home in Manhattan to visit friends in the Bronx. “I had no choice but to pay it. My reaction was like, ‘Wow, are you serious?’”
Rayna Ganabathi said the price hikes on e-hail apps are frustrating. “I don’t even bother with it,” she said.
She showed a recent receipt from Lyft that was $8.97 for a trip that lasted four-and-a-half minutes.
“Used to be $3 last year on a ride share, and now to go literally from 111th to 113th is $9,” Ganabathi said.
As weather warmed and restrictions lifted, daily yellow taxis trip increased 40% to 61,643 trips from January to March, the most current data available.
Major e-hail apps, such as Uber and Lyft, saw a 20% increase in trips to more than 458,777 in that period.
Uber and Lyft, which faced new regulations on driver pay and a cap on for-hire cars, said there are too few drivers to meet demand. The companies are trying to entice drivers to get behind the wheel with financial incentives.
Until then, e-hail apps have to compete with mass transit and yellow taxis.
“I feel like a lot of my friends have started using yellow taxis more, and have told me to start using it because it’s much cheaper than the ride-hail apps, so I definitely am going to keep that as an option,” Ganabathi said.