New York City in 1932 had 16,732 taxicabs . The population of the city at that time was about 7 million. Today, according to Wikipedia, New York City has just 13,605 taxicabs. Today’s population? 8.4 million. So the city hasn’t shrunk, but the number of taxis has.
That’s in large part due to the fact that in 1937, an alderman named Lew Haas decided to do something about what was described as “merciless” competition in the taxi industry with numerous strikes and fare wars. According to taxi historian Graham Hodges, “Many cabbies turned to petty crime to help make ends meet.”