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Via Far Outpaces Uber, Lyft in NYC Utilization

A new study by the city’s Taxi & Limousine Commissions reveals Via has a substantially higher utilization rate than its competition, cutting down on ‘cruising’

Newly proposed ride-hailing regulations in New York City reveal that Via is outpacing the competition yet again, this time showing that Via has a dramatically higher utilization rate than its competitors.

That’s according to a new study by the city’s Taxi & Limousine Commission on how to improve efficiency and manage for-hire vehicle growth in NYC. The city announced it will soon require for-hire vehicles in Manhattan be empty no more than 36 percent of the time by February 2020, and 31 percent by August 2020. But according to the TLC, Via is already at only 13 percent, while every other company is at least 42 percent.

According to the report, Via “has a substantially higher utilization in the Manhattan core (87%) than do Uber, Lyft, or Juno (54-58% in the Manhattan core). Of the other three high-volume FHV companies, Uber has the highest utilization and Juno the lowest, but the difference is small.”

Taking home the top spot for utilization is nothing new for Via, either. In 2018, the TLC reported that Via had the highest utilization rate of any for-hire vehicle service in New York City. Since launching in 2013, 95 percent of the company’s rides in NYC have been booked as shared. To date, Via’s shared rides eliminated 30 million driver miles on New York streets.

That’s compared to self-reported data from Uber and Lyft, which saw only 20 percent and 35 percent booked as shared, respectively.

The city’s latest report on utilization, however, comes just months after it mandated widespread driver wage increases, where it became clear that Via already paid its drivers far above the new minimum wage restrictions. And not by coincidence, Via’s higher driver pay and vehicle utilization are linked.

The TLC’s new report outlines how Uber, Lyft and Juno’s low utilization rates “cause drivers to spend over 40% of total work time empty and cruising for passengers. Combined with decreasing per-trip pay, this underutilization led to significant declines in driver income.”

Much like NYC’s updated minimum wage requirements, Via is already far exceeding the city’s new proposed  “cruising” requirement. New York officials are now demanding that Uber, Lyft and Juno play catch-up.

Between Via’s exceptional utilization rate and high driver wages, the company continues to prove that it’s possible to run a highly efficient transportation service that both treats drivers fairly and reduces traffic congestion.

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