Uber cars, often black sedans that can be summoned with smartphone apps, now outnumber the yellow taxis that city riders have hailed with a whistle and a wave for generations.
It was a changing-of-the-guard moment that passed with little fanfare this week in figures released by the city's Taxi and Limousine Commission: 14,088 registered Uber cars compared with 13,587 yellow cabs.
But it hardly means yellow cabs are out of favour. In fact, there are about 440,000 yellow cab rides a day, compared to just 20,000 to 30,000 Uber rides. That's because Uber drivers often own their own cars and work less than 40 hours a week, while most yellow taxis are owned by cab companies, have more than one driver and are on the road close to 24 hours a day.
"Yellow cab rides significantly outstrip the number of black car rides," said Meera Joshi, chairwoman of the taxi commission. "So the number of their affiliated vehicles in and of itself doesn't paint a complete picture."
Uber was introduced in New York City in 2011 and has grown steadily in popularity, particularly among tech-savvy customers who are comfortable hailing rides through an app that shows when a car is on the way. A customer can even follow its progress with a blip on a street map. Similar companies such as Lyft use apps to connect with riders.
Prices are comparable, but some Uber riders have complained about fare add-ons for larger vehicles and "surge pricing" during rush hour, bad weather or holidays.
"I absolutely do love the convenience, and if it's not surge pricing I find the costs very comparable and in some cases cheaper than yellow taxis," said Kerry Farrell, a paralegal who uses Uber about three times a week.
Uber spokesman Matt Wing declined to comment on the significance of the numbers of Uber cars surpassing yellow cabs.
But some drivers and their advocates grumbled that Uber's growth has flooded the market, lowering average incomes for all drivers.
"Uber having an unlimited number of cars means no drivers — taxi or black car and livery — will earn a decent living," said Bhairavi Desai, executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, an advocacy group that includes both Uber and yellow cab drivers as members.
Mamadou Diallo, who has been driving a yellow cab since 2004, said he once could count on at least 30 fares a day. But his take has dropped 30 to 40 per cent since Uber and other such car services entered the New York market.
"It's a jungle," he said, "and the big fish always eat the small fish."
New Year - Curved Phones
The Consumer Electronics Show, followed by Mobile World Congress will bring back an old familiar friend: the curved phone. LG experimented with the G Flex
and while it had its flaws, people enjoyed it. Fast forward to the Galaxy Note Edge
and opinion of the experimental technology has further increased. It's ready to be the next major 'gimmick' for smartphones and this time it might actually turn out to be quite useful as well.
Spring - Smart Watch 2.0
The Apple Watch
might appear to be just like any other smart watch but when it arrives the functionality it'll bring to Apple's ecosystem of products will almost certainly drive innovation elsewhere. If there's one thing that pushes a technology firm forward it's making sure that they're better than the other guy. Android Wear for iOS? Probably not, but what it will do is drive Google to persuade more people over to Android, resulting in better Android Wear updates, better smart watches. The smart watch may have arrived in 2014 but it'll be something you actually buy in 2015.
Summer - Games That Live
Ubisoft's The Division
is looking to be, quite frankly, an incredible game. Not only is it one of the best-looking games around but it also happens to be potentially, one of the most futuristic. Where Destiny failed to live up to its promise of being a 'new genre', The Division has innovation built into its very coding. Players drop in and out of a living world, teaming up, playing solo or just joining the action from their tablet as a 'drone'. If you were disappointed with the phrase 'next-gen' then hold on, it's coming and it's coming soon.
Autumn - A Quantum Leap In Television
4K is the future, if you don't believe us then read this
. If you do, then prepare yourself as while 2015 won't bring more pixels it's going to make them look better than you've ever seen before. LG's Quantum Dot technology uses tiny nano crystals which -- dependent on their size -- will show through a different colour. This is then placed on top of a conventional display with the result being that colours look astonishingly defined.
Winter - The Death Of The Laptop
If you still think the ultra-portable laptop still has a place then we'd politely direct you to the Surface Pro 3
. Similarly if you think that Apple won't conform to changing trends then just look at the iPhone 6. This is the time of year that Apple releases its new product range and this could well be the year that Apple gives its iPad the overhaul it desperately needs. Hugely powerful in many ways the iPad suffers from a number of barriers that stop it from being a true laptop replacement. To combat this you can expect a larger screen, stylus support and possibly a kickstand. OK maybe not that last one, but still, the times they are a changin'.