Uber Reigns Supreme in NYC, Takes 60% of Dollars Spent on Rideshare

Key Takeaways

• Uber leads the way in both rides taken in NYC, as well as trip growth over the last year, with 227% more rides than Lyft this past July, and 37% year-over-year trip growth

• Uber captured 60% of NYC dollars spent on rideshare trips, while Lyft came in a distant second at 22%

• While Uber also holds around 64% of the US market at large, Lyft’s share of the nation’s pie (32%) is much larger than its slice in New York, where it has lost out to smaller competitors such as Juno and Via

On August 14, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law the city’s new cap on rideshare vehicles, legislation that made New York the first city in the nation to put a limit on rideshare services. The law quickly prompted speculation that Uber and its competitors would resort to strategies such as price increases in order to maintain revenue growth.

While it’s too soon to see the impact of the New York decision on prices or ridership, we at Edison Trends examined New York City’s rideshare market from the last 12 months, in order to understand how far Uber, Lyft and others have come in the last year — and how much they have to potentially lose.



What was the growth trajectory of rideshare spending prior to the signing of NYC’s cap?

Five of the six companies grew in terms of customer spending since August 2017, with Lyft leading the way at a 38% increase. Uber, whose monthly customer spend was 170% more than that of Lyft this past July, was second in growth with a 33% increase. Curb followed with 21% and Arro at 19%.

Figure 1. Monthly rideshare spend shows estimated trend of rideshare spending for each provider according to Edison Trends. 1.0x means “1.0x Uber’s August 2017 spending by customers.”

How many rideshare trips are New Yorkers taking now vs. a year ago?

When it comes to rides taken in NYC, Uber leads the way in both sheer numbers as well as in growth over the last year, with about 227% more rides taken, than Lyft this July 2018, and 37% year-over-year growth.

Figure 2. Monthly rides taken shows estimated trend of ride counts for each provider according to Edison Trends. 1.0x means “1.0x Uber’s August 2017 ride count.”

Which rideshare service has the most market share in NYC and the US?

Over the last year, Uber captured about 60% of NYC dollars spent on rideshare trips. Lyft was a distant second at 22% - little more than a third of Uber’s share. While Uber also holds around 64% of the US market at large, Lyft’s share of the nation’s pie (32%) is much larger than its slice in New York, where it has lost out to smaller competitors such as Juno and Via.

Figure 3. NYC and US market share by spend show estimated share of customer spending in the rideshare market, according to Edison Trends.

How much room do rideshare companies have to increase their prices?

A look at average rideshare trip prices in NYC shows most companies hovering around an average price point of $15-17 per ride. Lyft and Juno were the highest over the past year at about $17 per trip; Uber sits comfortably below that at $15, potentially with “room to grow.”

Uber has already made some moves in response to the cap, rushing to register more cars before the law took effect. The coming weeks and months will show which other measures rideshare companies may take in order to defend their bottom line in NYC, and in other cities that may follow their lead.

Figure 4. NYC average price paid shows estimated average price per ride according to Edison Trends.

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