“This first-in-the-nation data tool will level the playing field for drivers and shed light on an industry that for too long refused to play by the rules,” a press release issued by the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) quoted Mayor Eric Adams as saying.
According to New York City data, 173,944 people are associated with the city’s taxi and for-hire vehicles industry. A total of 109,971 licensed vehicles, including 13,587 taxis, ply the city streets.
“Even as our administration has delivered hundreds of millions of dollars in debt relief for struggling taxi drivers and is fighting in court to protect the critical minimum pay standard for for-hire drivers, the deck remains stacked against the drivers on the road and those who still haven’t returned because of inflation and other challenges,” he said, adding that with this critical data hub, all New Yorkers will have the resources to see what taxi and for-hire drivers are experiencing and hold the entire industry accountable for providing the true economic opportunity they claim to offer.
Taxi and for-hire vehicle industry play an important role in the city’s economy. TLC data shows 96% of yellow and green taxi drivers were born outside of the United States, compared with 91% of for-hire vehicle drivers. Among these drivers are a large number of South Asians, including Pakistanis, who earn their livelihood through this industry.
“This vital transparency tool builds on New York City’s historic pay protections for app-based drivers. Across the globe understanding how much Uber and Lyft drivers make is too often a matter of company or individual anecdote, but in New York City we are proud, it is based on hard data,” said Deputy Mayor Meera Joshi. “TLC Data’s Hub makes it easy for the public to understand what passengers pay and what drivers take home, a core component of New York City’s pay transparency and equity efforts.”
The new features allow users to easily access and visualize monthly data on average driver pay and tips, average fares, and total fares collected in both the taxi and high-volume for-hire industries. The data for the taxi sector extends back to 2012, while the Uber & Lyft data tracks back to 2019. Among the trends that users can see through the visualizations are precipitous drops in both fares and driver pay immediately following the onset of the pandemic, (taxi drivers, for example, lost 50% of their gross income in one month, while app-based drivers lost 36%). Both sectors continue to recover. Users can also see the pay differentials between app-based and taxi drivers over time. In September 2022, taxi drivers made and an average of $800 more than their app-based counterparts.
“Today’s announcement marks an important next step in TLC’s transparency efforts,” said TLC Commissioner David Do. “We are publishing more data more frequently and we are doing it in a way that automatically updates charts and user-friendly graphs, so you don’t need to be a data scientist to know what is going on in New York City’s for-hire transportation landscape. I am incredibly proud of our data team, and I thank them for all their hard work in making sure the agency is transparent and driven by data.”