A study released by Uber earlier this year showed an attrition rate in Uber drivers after one year approaching 50%. And for evidence of driver dissatisfaction, you only need to look at the numerous complaints from Uber drivers at sites such as www.uberpeople.net.
Unhappy Uber drivers and attrition mean less competition from this company. A spreadsheet that Uber produced (and that can be downloaded via this article) revealed that the average number of Uber drivers on the road in New York City at any given time was 3,227... out of more than 20,000 registered vehicles. My conclusion was that many of those 20,000 were no longer active, or that New York City had reached equilibrium or both.
Less competition from Uber would mean more reliable cash flow for taxi drivers in San Francisco. Moreover, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency passed a measure earlier this month that forces UberX drivers to effectively avoid the popular Mission Street to reduce congestion.
The SFMTA also announced recently that it will amend the Transportation Code to make it easier to purchase a medallion, reducing the driving requirement from four out of the last five years to the past 12 months. The SFMTA sent out letters of interest and said it has received 250 replies from potential buyers. One would expect zero responses if Uber were really killing the taxi business.
The research paper referenced above shows that New York City UberX drivers aren't making much more than cabbies, so one would expect that former cabbies will become current cabbies once again, as they abandon Uber in greater numbers. Once again, less competition would mean less of a threat to cash flow.
That could be the death knell to the short-sellers.
As it is, the delinquency data from the Northeast banks that have made significant taxi medallion loans aren't bad at all. The major lenders have assets from $3.7 billion to $307 billion, according to this Piper Jaffray research note from September. The taxi medallion loans only account for small parts of their portfolios, and delinquencies representing even less.BKU data by YCharts