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The End of an Icon?

From the lovable East Coast cabbies featured on countless movies and TV shows, to the vastly more sinister Travis Bickle, played by Robert DeNiro in 1976’s “Taxi Driver,” New York cabs and their drivers are nothing short of iconic. Therefore, it’s a bit off-putting to realize that, as reported by Curbed New York, Uber and Lyft vehicles are already seriously outnumbering the classic yellow cab in the Big Apple.

End of an era?

Of course, this doesn’t mean that the New York cab will be going away anytime soon. The sheer ubiquity of cabs in NYC makes them far more accessible than they would be in other cities. After all, the ridesharing services have an enormous advantage over cabs in a sprawling city like Los Angeles because, outside of certain parts of Hollywood and Downtown, you could spend hours on a typical street corner waiting for an available cab to drive by. Indeed, even calling a cab for a ride to the airport can be something of crap shoot if you’re expecting it to arrive on time. Ridesharing services in L.A. are not only cheaper than cabs, they are more dependable.

In many parts of Manhattan, however, all one has to do is hold up a hand and a cab will dutifully pull up. Indeed, New Yorkers are probably more comfortable taking cabs than people from any other city.  Curbed notes that, despite being outnumbered, New York taxis are still taking more daily trips than ridesharing vehicles – at least for the moment.

For the time being, at least, then, it seems that cabs and Uber/Lyft vehicles will be sharing the streets of New York City. During that time, it will be interesting to compare the rates of personal injuries between the two kinds of vehicles, as well as the impacts of the difference between the amount of insurance held by cab drivers versus the much larger levels of coverage that Uber and Lyft insist on. Right now, it seems to us as the ridesharing services are winning, in terms of popularity if not public safety. However, time will only tell if the New York cab companies might find a way to reassert their historic dominance.  Personal injury matters could be a factor.

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