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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Ridesharing or Ridestealing? Changes in Taxi Ridership and Revenue in Los Angeles 2009-2014


In 2015, Los Angeles increased the minimum wage to one of the highest in the country, leading the way to boost stagnating pay for workers and to ensure that workers are able to earn enough to support themselves and their families. Los Angeles needs to take the same care to ensure quality employment within the taxi industry, particularly in light of the rapid growth of transportation networking companies (TNCs) such as Uber and Lyft into Los Angeles.

TNCs are on-demand ride services where unlicensed individuals use their personal vehicles as for-hire vehicles. These companies have constructed an app-based ridesharing model that is having a major impact on the taxi industry in regards to income for taxi drivers, revenue for cab companies, and the local economy. TNCs are receiving praise for their innovation and their rapid growth is changing the way we do work. Yet these changes inevitably signal a business model shift that has a widespread and dramatic impact on workers in Los Angeles and nationwide. It is important to further evaluate and research how this business model will impact Los Angeles workers and the future of quality jobs in the city.

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