Uber, Lyft eat away at Fairfax Co. taxi business

WASHINGTON — Fairfax County will likely not increase the number of taxi certificates it issues this year due to decreased demand for taxis in the county.

Call it the Uber effect.

Fairfax County reissues taxi certificates every two years based on a formula that determines demand. That formula notes a 37.6 percent decline in the average number of trips per certificate from 2013 to 2016.

A staff report notes declining demand for taxis primarily appears to be due to competition from ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft.

A county report states that there are now 15,796 of what it calls active transportation network company registrations, like Uber and Lyft, as opposed to only 654 registered taxis in Fairfax County.

The Consumer Protection Commission has already voted unanimously to recommend that the County Board authorize no additional taxi certificates for 2017.

The county’s Board of Supervisors is expected to vote on the proposal on June 20.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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