GPS analysis finds NYC yellow cabs make more than 360,000 trips to Garden State each year

Having trouble hailing a yellow cab in the outer boroughs? Here’s one reason why — a surprising number of hacks are busy working in New Jersey.

Yellow cab drivers make hundreds of thousands of pickups and dropoffs in the Garden State each year — even though though their services are needed in the five boroughs — an analysis of GPS data revealed.

The numbers crunching by a team of experts found that yellow cabs annually make more than 360,000 trips that start in New Jersey. And nearly 160,000 trips begin and end in Hudson County alone, the researchers told the Daily News.

“New York City taxis are doing a better job serving the needs of Hudson County than Staten Island, or southeast Brooklyn or eastern Queens,” said Jonathan Peters, a finance professor at the College of Staten Island.

Peters, former city Taxi and Limousine Commission Chairman Matthew Daus and David King, an assistant professor at Columbia University, analyzed GPS data for 3 million randomly selected taxi trips. They used it to figure out how much business hacks were doing on the other side of the Hudson in one’s year time.

The numbers are a fraction of the 175 million yellow cab trips annually, but it’s a significant amount of service that could — and should — be happening in the city, Daus argued. “I do not believe there are enough trips in New Jersey to cause major concern, but it would be nice if our New York City cabbies came home to where their service is needed,” he said.

The TLC licenses yellow cab drivers and authorizes them to pick up street hails in the five boroughs. Out-of-state business is not prohibited, however.

But some New Jersey municipalities, including Jersey City and Hoboken, ban fare-poaching on their turf.

Only a cabbie licensed by Jersey City can pick up a hail in Jersey City, and violators can be fined, an official said.“If laws like these were not in place, someone who wanted to operate a taxi business would get licensed in the municipality with the lowest licensing costs and then conduct business wherever they felt it was most profitable,” said Jersey City spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill.

Bhairavi Desai, head of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, said many cabbies live in New Jersey and may be picking up passengers on their way in or back home.

“They can’t afford New York rents,” she said.

Each year, only 14,000 yellow cab trips start in Staten Island; about 180,000 begin in the Bronx; and 3 million originate in Brooklyn, the researchers said. Approximately 8.1 million taxi rides start in Queens, where two of the region’s major airports are located.

pdonohue@nydailynews.com

Category: Blog, New York City

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