Ride-sharing apps are cutting into the taxi market and City Hall is not inclined to help. Is an American institution staring down the barrel of defeat?

The yellow taxis of Manhattan have long been part of the city’s fabric, their energy woven into New York’s enduring cultural mythology, from the comedy of Taxi to Robert de Niro’s Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver.

But the system of city-licensed yellow cabs could now be breaking down, taking with it a key stepping stone to a middle-class life for waves of immigrants who make up more than 90% of drivers.

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