E-hailing app Uber has exerted such a grip on New York that the number of its cars on the road now outnumber the city’s iconic yellow cabs.
According to stats released by the Taxi and Limousine Commission, as reported by The New York Post, the company has 14,088 black and luxury cars on the roads of NYC's five boroughs, compared to the 13,587 traditional taxis currently in operation.
However, due to the on-again, off-again nature of how Uber's drivers can operate, yellow cabs still make 10 times more trips than Uber cars in the city.
The company's east coast prosperity seems in contrast to what's happening on the other side of the US. In December, Los Angeles and San Francisco (Uber's hometown) filed lawsuits accusing Uber of “making false or misleading statements to consumers and for engaging in a variety of business practices that violate California law”.
“Uber has refused to comply with straightforward California laws that protect consumers from fraud and harm,” Gascon and Los Angeles County district attorney Jackie Lacey said in a statement. “These companies can be innovative in the way they deliver services without ignoring the laws that protect the public.”
Some in New York have been critical of the app too. Authorities have claimed Uber is stopping revenue from flowing into the city because it doesn’t pay tax through medallion sales or the surcharges that fund the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). There is also a concern that Uber cars are adding to Manhattan's already huge congestion problem.
Earlier this week, Uber announced it will be allowing its service to be embedded into third-party applications. The move could, in theory, greatly benefit apps used by travellers, allowing them to book a ride while utilising the original software.
New York cab image via Shutterstock