- Associated Press - Friday, February 5, 2016

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Business for traditional cab companies has fallen since ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft have been allowed on Nebraska streets.

The Nebraska Public Service Commission said in a report to Legislature that the number of taxi cab rides in Lincoln and Omaha fell by 18.5 percent from 2014 to 2015.

The commission said some taxi carriers in Lincoln and Omaha are saying business is down 16 to 30 percent from last year. The report didn’t say which companies were citing declines.

Abdullah Ali, who has been a driver Omaha’s largest taxicab company, Happy Cab, for nearly nine years, said that in the last year or so, his daily take-home pay has fallen from about $150 to $100.

“Before they showed up, I’d work about 10 hours a day,” he said. “Now, to make the same amount, I have to work 14 to 16 hours. We lose business every day,” Ali said.

John Davis, director of operations at Happy Cab, said “business is good,” but wouldn’t provide specific figures. The company also operates under the Cornhusker, Safeway and Yellow Cab brands and debuted its own mobile app for customers to book rides in 2013.

Davis said the problems traditional cab companies face in larger cities, such as San Francisco or New York, aren’t likely to occur in Lincoln or Omaha because the demand for additional services was much greater there.

“That’s not the case here,” Davis said.

The commission’s report said ride-hailing companies haven’t made a significant dent outside of Omaha.

Uber and Lyft didn’t respond to the Omaha World-Herald’s (https://bit.ly/1mic7rb ) request for comment about the number of rides they’ve provided in Nebraska.

The ride-booking services operated illegally in Nebraska before the state granted Uber authority to do business in July and Lyft permission to operate in September.

The seven-page commission report, which gives an overview of the passenger carrier industry, is the commission’s first report on the subject since the Legislature legalized ride-hailing companies.

Gerald Vap, a commissioner from McCook said that prior to the law that legalized ride-sharing companies, the commission didn’t track the number of annual rides.

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Information from: Omaha World-Herald, https://www.omaha.com


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