Barcelona Cabs Strike Against Uber Taxi App
  • Barcelona Cabs Strike Against Uber Taxi App
  • BARCELONA, SPAIN - JULY 01: In this photo illustration, the app 'Uber' is launched in a smart phone on July 1, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. Taxi drivers in main cities strike over unlicensed car-halling services. Drivers say that is a lack of regulation behind the new app. (Photo Illustration by David Ramos/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: David Ramos via Getty Images
Mideast Egypt Uber
  • Mideast Egypt Uber
  • Anthony Khoury, head of Middle East and Africa expansions for Uber, displays the application on a mobile phone during an event to celebrate the official launch of the car-hailing service in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015. Cairo soft launched the company in Nov. 2014. Uber is now in over 270 cities in 55 countries, according to the company. (AP Photo/Mosa'ab Elshamy)
  • Image Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
Uber Lyft Employees or Contractors
  • Uber Lyft Employees or Contractors
  • In this photo taken Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014, a man leaves the headquarters of Uber in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
  • Image Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
Uber Surge
  • Uber Surge
  • This Friday, Nov. 21, 2014, photo taken in Newark, N.J., shows smartphones displaying Uber car availability in New York. Uber is offering car service in 250 cities in 50 countries now, up from 60 cities in 21 countries just a year ago. Uber hasn’t released its financial figures to the public, so valuing the company is pure guesswork. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
  • Image Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
Uber Launch-Nevada
  • Uber Launch-Nevada
  • Uber West Coast Regional Manager William Barnes sits in the back of a car during a photo shoot Friday, Oct. 24, 2014, in Las Vegas. The ride sharing company has begun operations in Nevada. (AP Photo/John Locher)
  • Image Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
India Uber Asia
  • India Uber Asia
  • In this April 3, 2014 photo, a smartphone is mounted on the glass of an Uber car in Mumbai, India. Riding on its startup success and flush with fresh capital, taxi-hailing smartphone app Uber is making a big push into Asia. The company has in the last year started operating in 18 cities in Asia and the South Pacific including Seoul, Shanghai, Bangkok, Hong Kong and five Indian cities. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)
  • Image Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
INDIA-CRIME-RAPE-TRANSPORT-UBER
  • INDIA-CRIME-RAPE-TRANSPORT-UBER
  • The Uber smartphone app, used to book taxis using its service, is pictured over a parking lot as auto-rickshaws (background) ply a road in the Indian capital New Delhi on December 7, 2014. An Uber taxi driver allegedly raped a 25-year-old passenger in the Indian capital before threatening to kill her, police said December 7, in a blow to the company's safety-conscious image. AFP PHOTO/TENGKU BAHAR (Photo credit should read TENGKU BAHAR/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: TENGKU BAHAR via Getty Images
Grand Tasting Presented By ShopRite Featuring KitchenAid® Culinary Demonstrations Presented By MasterCard - Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival Presented By FOOD & WINE
  • Grand Tasting Presented By ShopRite Featuring KitchenAid® Culinary Demonstrations Presented By MasterCard - Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival Presented By FOOD & WINE
  • NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 18: A general view of atmosphere at the Uber Technologies station at the Grand Tasting presented by ShopRite featuring KitchenAid® culinary demonstrations presented by MasterCard during the Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival Presented By FOOD & WINE at Pier 94 on October 18, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for NYCWFF)
  • Image Credit: Bryan Bedder via Getty Images
Uber Taxi App In Madrid
  • Uber Taxi App In Madrid
  • MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 14: In this photo illustration the new smart phone taxi app 'Uber' shows how to select a pick up location at Atocha Station on October 14, 2014 in Madrid, Spain. 'Uber' application started to operate in Madrid last September despite Taxi drivers claim it is an illegal activity and its drivers currently operate without a license. 'Uber' is an American based company which is quickly expanding to some of the main cities from around the world. (Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez via Getty Images
Uber Taxi App In Madrid
  • Uber Taxi App In Madrid
  • MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 14: In this photo illustration the new smart phone taxi app 'Uber' shows how to select a pick up location at Puerta de Alcala Square on October 14, 2014 in Madrid, Spain. 'Uber' application started to operate in Madrid last September despite Taxi drivers claim it is an illegal activity and its drivers currently operate without a license. 'Uber' is an American based company which is quickly expanding to some of the main cities from around the world. (Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez via Getty Images
Uber Taxi App In Madrid
  • Uber Taxi App In Madrid
  • MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 14: In this Photo Illustration a smart phone displays a picture with the logo of the news taxi app 'Uber' as people walk past on October 14, 2014 in Madrid, Spain. 'Uber' application started to operate in Madrid last September despite Taxi drivers claim it is an illegal activity and its drivers currently operate without a license. 'Uber' is an American based company which is quickly expanding to some of the main cities from around the world. (Photo Illustration by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez via Getty Images
Uber Taxi App In Madrid
  • Uber Taxi App In Madrid
  • MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 14: In this photo illustration the new smart phone taxi app 'Uber' shows how to select a pick up location at Atocha Station on October 14, 2014 in Madrid, Spain. 'Uber' application started to operate in Madrid last September despite Taxi drivers claim it is an illegal activity and its drivers currently operate without a license. 'Uber' is an American based company which is quickly expanding to some of the main cities from around the world. (Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez via Getty Images
Uber Taxi App In Madrid
  • Uber Taxi App In Madrid
  • MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 14: In this Photo Illustration a smart phone displays a picture with the logo of the news taxi app 'Uber' outside Plaza de Toros Las Ventas on October 14, 2014 in Madrid, Spain. 'Uber' application started to operate in Madrid last September despite Taxi drivers claim it is an illegal activity and its drivers currently operate without a license. 'Uber' is an American based company which is quickly expanding to some of the main cities from around the world. (Photo Illustration by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez via Getty Images
Uber Taxi App In Madrid
  • Uber Taxi App In Madrid
  • MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 14: In this photo illustration the new smart phone taxi app 'Uber' shows how to select a pick up location next to a taxi lane on October 14, 2014 in Madrid, Spain. 'Uber' application started to operate in Madrid last September despite Taxi drivers claim it is an illegal activity and its drivers currently operate without a license. 'Uber' is an American based company which is quickly expanding to some of the main cities from around the world. (Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez via Getty Images
German Court Bans Uber Service Nationwide
  • German Court Bans Uber Service Nationwide
  • BERLIN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 02: In this photo illustration, a woman uses the Uber app on an Samsung smartphone on September 2, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. Uber, an app that allows passenger to buy rides from drivers who do not have taxi permits, has had its UberPop freelance driver service banned in Germany after a complaint by Taxi Deutschland, a trade association of taxi drivers in the country. The company, which operates in 42 countries over 200 cities worldwide, plans to both appeal the decision made by a court in Frankfurt as well as, at the risk of heavy fines, continue its services in Germany until a final decision has been made on the matter. (Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Adam Berry via Getty Images
New York City's storied yellow cabs are taking a back seat to black cars.

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 favor. 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 percent 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."

Related Video:

How The Taxi Industry Can Benefit From Uber


The AP contributed to this report.

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