Study: Uber Benefits New York City Low-Income, Minority Consumers

Published September 3, 2015

A new policy paper by Manhattan Institute fellow Jared Meyer examines how underserved neighborhoods in New York City benefit from Uber, a popular transportation-network company.

City regulators and elected officials like Mayor Bill De Blasio have been locked in a fight with Uber over how many new drivers the company may hire.

Using data provided by the company, Meyer determined that UberX, the company’s basic service tier, is most demanded by consumers in underserved boroughs, away from the city’s airports and downtown areas.

Meyer found UberX was most utilized in the city’s less wealthy neighborhoods. 

“In 2014, of the ten zip codes with the greatest num ber of UberX pickups, per household, beyond core Manhattan, four had household incomes below the noncore Manhattan median; and of the ten fastest growing zip codes in UberX pickups, per household, beyond core Manhattan—surging, on average, by more than 1,000 percent—six had incomes below the noncore Manhattan median,” he wrote.

Consumers in majority-minority neighborhoods benefited greatly from UberX’s expansion, Meyer writes.

“In the 29 noncore Manhattan and non-airport zip codes with one or more UberX pickups per
household, black households constituted 29 percent of all households, while the average for
all 146 noncore Manhattan zip codes was 27 percent,” he wrote. “The aforementioned 29 zip codes included neighborhoods ranging from Greenpoint and Park Slope—where less than 5 percent of
households are black—to Crown Heights and Harlem, where more than 75 percent of households are black.”

Jesse Hathaway ([email protected]) is the managing editor of Budget & Tax News, a publication of The Heartland Institute.

Internet Info:

Jared Meyer, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, “Uber-Positive: The Ride-Share Firm Expands Transportation Options in Low-Income New York”: