The reign of the yellow cab may be coming to an end. Though still an icon of the city, the actual number of yellow taxis on the road is dwindling, having lost “significant ground” to a burgeoning fleet of cars summoned by an army of one-word ride-hailing apps like Uber, Lyft, Via, Juno, and Gett, the Times reports.
And indeed, the yellow cab numbers are comparatively bleak: today, there are 13,587 yellow cabs on New York City streets. The total number of black cars: 60,000, more than 46,000 of which are connected with Uber, though they may be hooked up to other services as well.
Back in the pre-Uber halcyon days of 2010, yellow cabs made 463,701 daily trips and brought in $5.17 million in fares during the month of November alone. Six years later, though, the numbers had dropped: in November 2016, yellow cabs made an average of 336,737 daily trips, and brought in $4.98 million in fares, according to city data.
To the credit of taxis, that’s still more than the number of daily trips taken by app-hailed cars—but not by much. Combined, those cars took a total of 311,305 trips in October 2016. Yellow cabs are on a downward trajectory; app-hailed cars are on an upswing.
The Times breaks down the brand-specific numbers: in a twist surprising to no one, Uber, which started operating in NYC in 2011, is still king of the ride-hailing apps, providing on average of 226,046 rides per day in October 2016. Lyft came in a distant second, with 35,908 rides, according to city data, while Via had 21,698 rides; Juno had 20,426 rides; and Gett, which launched in the city in 2014, came in last with 7,227 rides.
Still, Michael Woloz, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Taxicab Board of Trade, told the Times that he was optimistic about the future of yellow cabs. “This is always going to be an iconic yellow-taxi town,” he said. “Uber is the same everywhere—there is nothing ‘New York’ about them—kind of like McDonald’s or Starbucks. But yellow taxis are unique to New York City and, while maybe a little retro, they are as vital and soulful as ever.”