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NYC’s taxi commission launches data-packed interactive tool

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The tool will help the public better understand changes in the industry, officials say

Three yellow taxi cabs lined up outside of Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan.
Yellow cabs lined up in front of Grand Central Terminal.
Max Touhey

A new data tool launched by the Taxi and Limousine Commission Thursday paints a stark portrait of where New York City’s once reigning yellow cabs suffered dramatic ridership losses to app-based companies like Uber and Lyft in recent years.

The interactive data hub allows the public to better visualize and understand trends behind the city’s ever changing taxi industry with a user-friendly tool. The goal is to make the information the city gathers more accessible to researchers, policymakers, and journalists, according to the commission.

“TLC’s new Data Hub will bring TLC data to life for everyone who wants to better understand how New Yorkers get around,” Acting TLC Commissioner Bill Heinzen said in a statement. “Whether you are a student, an entrepreneur, an advocate, or a policymaker, users can customize what information they want to see about for-hire transportation by area, date, and by industry sector.”

The digital tool maps the agency’s data across the city with industry break downs—yellow cab, green taxi, for hire vehicles etc.—along with metrics of trips, pick-ups, and drop-offs, allowing users to easily isolate trends.

For instance, in Manhattan’s Central Business District yellow taxis logged 5.4 million pick-ups in January 2018, but that’s 745,497 picks-up less than that same month in 2017—translating to a 12 percent drop in monthly pick-ups. Whereas higher volume for higher services took a major bite out of yellow cab business with 5.3 million pick-ups in January 2018.

TLC employees, Nikita Voevodin and Fausto Lopez, spearheaded the new tool.