At least according to an Uber funded study... a study that frankly, makes sense:
According to one Uber-funded study released today, they do.Anecdotally and proven by its pervasive success I'd say that Uber is more convenient and cheaper than cabs for rich people, so why wouldn't that hold true for the poor? Update (NYT): Uber wins in NYC. Or more accurately, the people of NYC win.
Research group Botec Analysis found that summoning an UberX, the company’s budget tier, took less than half as long as calling for a taxi in several low-income neighborhoods in Los Angeles. What’s more, the trips themselves cost less than half as much. Calling for an UberX was more reliable and wait times were shorter, according to the study.
“The answer was clear-cut, and consistent across neighborhoods and days,” writes study co-author Mark Kleiman.
To gather data, pairs of riders called for a taxi and an Uber along pre-planned routes. The riders recorded the time between picking up the phone or opening an app and getting in a car. They also tracked how much each ride cost, then switched off. After each ride, whoever took a taxi last time took an Uber next time.
Kleiman says the riders didn’t know Uber had funded the effort but acknowledged that Uber’s backing “makes some skepticism about our results natural and proper.”
“We would be happy to share our data and methods with other research teams for re-analysis and replication,” he says.
Update #2 (TechCrunch): A reason Uber prevailed? Uber counters NYC's mayor's opinions with data - "while de Blasio has argued that Uber and other ride sharing companies are the main reason for NYC’s increased congestion, the data revealed by Uber today suggests otherwise." The post also notes, "records obtained by TechCrunch show that the NYC Taxi Industry has donated over $500,000 to Mayor de Blasio’s campaign, and are the second-highest donor behind the real estate industry. Additionally, the bill capping new driver sign-ups was first sponsored by the taxi industry three months ago."