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For the first time, Uber publicly shared data about its drivers this morning in a report compiled by Princeton professor Alan Krueger and Uber’s head of policy research Jonathan Hall. Thanks to them, we can bring a little more clarity into Philadelphia’s ride sharing scene.
How many Uber drivers are in Philadelphia? Krueger and Hall didn’t provide exact numbers for each city but provided a graph showing the number of 20 metropolitan areas, the Philly metro area included. The number, according to that graph, is about 2,500 UberX and Uber Black drivers for the metro area. The city of Philadelphia has 1,600 cabs.
The study made no distinction between Uber Black and UberX for its total number of drivers. But the Inquirer reported this summer that there were 399 Uber Black and SUV vehicles in the city. So the great majority of the 2,500 Uber drivers in Philadelphia are UberX drivers.
UberX is still considered an illegal cab service by the PPA (same with the soon-to-launch Lyft). Since its launch in October, the PPA has impounded 29 UberX vehicles. Each impound means a $1,000 fine for the driver and a $1,000 fine for the company. Uber’s policy is to pay for all the fines, so it’s paid $58,000 in fines since then.
How does Philadelphia compare to similar-sized metro areas in number of Uber drivers? As you can see by the graph, it’s way behind. Washington D.C. has about five times as many drivers. Expect Philadelphia’s number of Uber drivers to rise, given it’s only had the UberX service for about three months.