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Uber destroying taxi business in the US

Mobile taxi service Uber is growing at a rapid rate in the US, despite all of the bad press on the startup surrounding its owners and lack of forethought into security.

In a new piece by investor Donut Shorts (opens in new tab), it notes the price for a medallion taxi license is dropping rapidly, following a huge spike in foreclosure taxi rides by mobile companies Uber and Lyft.

In Jan 2015, almost 80 per cent of all taxi rides were completed with foreclosures, meaning the user paid for the taxi ride through an app rather than with cash.

Medallions used to be a symbol for operation in New York, forcing taxi owners to either acquire a bunch of the high price (over $1 million) licenses, or face being taken off the road by the established monopoly.

The launch of Uber has put a stop to this however, allowing people a new route to order a taxi that doesn’t involve the taxi-driver picking you up first.

This has shaken the New York taxi market as Uber and Lyft start to take more customers, and with the medallion price falling it puts less pressure on new players to enter the taxi market.

Uber also revealed that it makes four times the total revenue of the entire taxi market in San Francisco, and similar numbers should be made public in the next few months regarding New York.

In other countries, Uber has less impressive numbers, but growth in London, Paris and other European capitals is impressive. The challenge for Uber is winning over countries like South Korea, India and China, all unhappy with the launch of the service for different reasons.

David has been a technology journalist for over six years, covering a wide range of sectors. He currently researches apps, app sectors and app markets for Business of Apps, and has written for ITProPortal, RTInsights, ReadWrite, and Digital Trends.