The streets of New York City are no more buzzing with the iconic yellow taxicabs, but cars managed by the new kid on block – Uber, which zips over 14,000 black and luxury cars through the city’s block grid.
In less than four years since its launch in the city, Uber currently manages 14,088 cars compared to 13,587 yellow taxicabs, according to data released by the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) of New York City.
However, with a total of 440,000 taxicab rides taken by New Yorkers in a day, the good-old yellow taxicabs triumphs Uber, which lags behind with just 20,000 to 30,000 Uber rides used in a day.
“Yellow cab rides significantly outstrip the number of black car rides, including those dispatched by Uber, so the number of their affiliated vehicles in and of itself doesn’t paint a complete picture,” Meera Joshi, chairwoman of the taxi commission said in a statement.
“In order to get a truer sense of what is and is not being provided to the public, we must consider the differences in requirements between taxis and for-hire vehicle services when it comes to contributing resources to enhancing accessibility and our broader transportation infrastructure. These are areas we are looking at closely as this part of our system evolves,” she said.
The deficit between the number of taxicab and Uber rides, despite more Uber cars on road is put in perspective by a survey conducted by the Benenson Strategy Group, which found that about 49 percent of Uber drivers have a full time job and about 44 percent drive less than 12 hours in a week.
Despite its growing popularity not just in NYC, but also in many countries across the world, Uber is currently battling with a string of lawsuits and shutdowns in various parts of the world.
Last week, Uber, which was evaluated at over $41 billion, was sued by 19 taxi firms in San Francisco, California, for false advertising and misleading consumers over safety and drivers’ background checks.