One year later, ridesharing drivers seeing profits as taxi companies see a drop

(WHAM photo)

Rochester, N.Y. (13WHAM) - On June 29, Uber and Lyft celebrated one year of business in upstate New York. Over that time, some ridesharing drivers are reaping the rewards, while some taxi companies say their profits have been driven down.

"We've had a lot more slower days that would've normally been busy days," said Darrell Haggins of Airway Taxi. "A little less airport clientele, suburban clientele."

Haggins says business has dropped about 25 percent over the last year.

"We have our slow times, but for the most part we still stay busy," said Haggins.

Meanwhile, drivers for the ridesharing companies are keeping busy, and making money.

Kenneth Doohan has driven for Uber for a little more than seven months. During that time, he's given nearly 1,200 rides, averaging about $700 per week, if he works full-time.

But he says the money isn't the best part about the job.

"You get to meet a new person every ride," said Doohan. "So it's enjoyable, you don't know who you're going to get."

Lyft riders Kevin Bloechl and Kate Rubin say ordering a taxi when they need a ride never crosses their minds.

"I don't want to have to call somebody and schedule something," said Bloechl, discussing the convenience of being able to order a ride promptly from his phone.

For Rubin, convenience factors into her choices to order a car from Lyft.

"My credit card number is already in there, I don't have to worry about carrying cash on me, I don't have to worry about tipping," said Rubin.

Despite a drop in business, Haggins says they still have a faithful group of riders. He says the company has 79 cars and even more drivers.

Even with the arrival of Uber and Lyft, Haggins says there's still plenty of times when their phone won't stop ringing because there's too many people in need of a ride around Rochester.

"Some people just like what they like," said Haggins. "You might like Wegmans, I might like PriceRite. You just like what you like, and you don't care about what else comes into play."

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