The taxicabs of New York City are widely recognized icons of the city, come in two varieties, yellow and green. Taxis painted canary yellow are able to pick up passengers anywhere in the five boroughs. Those painted apple green, which began to appear in August 2013, are allowed to pick up passengers in Upper Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens (excluding LaGuardia Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport), and Staten Island. Both types have the same fare structure. Taxicabs are operated by private companies and licensed by the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC). It also oversees over 40,000 other for-hire vehicles, including "black cars", commuter vans and ambulettes.
As of September 2012New York City had around 6,000 hybrid taxi vehicles, representing almost 45% of the taxis in service – the most in any city in North America. The Nissan NV200 won the city's bid to become the "Taxi of Tomorrow" to replace most of the city's taxi fleet, with its introduction scheduled for October 2012. Nevertheless, this decision has faced several lawsuits and criticism.
The first taxicab company in New York City was the Samuel's Electric Carriage and Wagon Company, which began running 12 electric hansom cabs in July 1897. The company ran until 1898 with up to 62 cabs operating until it was reformed by its financiers to form the Electric Vehicle Company. The company then built the Electrobat electric car, and had up to 100 taxicabs running in total by 1899. 1899 also saw a number of notable firsts for the Electric Vehicle Company. On 20 May 1899, Jacob German, driving an electric taxicab received the first speeding ticket in the United States. Later that year, on 13 September, Henry Bliss became the first victim of an automotive accident in the United States when he was hit by an electric taxicab as he was helping a friend from a streetcar.