Kathleen Horan appears in the following:
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
The Taxi and Limousine Commission is poised to vote on draft rules for the city's street hail livery plan on Thursday. It's one of the final steps necessary before selling the first livery license permits in June. But there's dissent among some of the commissioners about whether the 200 pages of regulations that will govern the service is being rushed to a vote.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
An armed suspect fleeing on foot after holding up an East Harlem pharmacy at gunpoint Thursday was shot and killed by a retired police lieutenant who happened to be nearby, police said.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
About 100 Brooklyn residents concerned about crowds of beer-addled sports fans leaving the future Barclay's Center turned out in force at a community board meeting Tuesday night at the 78th precinct in the neighborhood. At issue is the arena's liquor license application.
Sunday, April 08, 2012
It's roomy...but also boxy. Those are some assessments of New Yorkers who got to check out the 'Taxi of Tomorrow," unveiled this week with much fanfare. The Nissan minivan has been chosen by city officials be the cab for the next decade, beginning next year as older cabs are retired.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg kicked the tires with Nissan execs Tuesday night, as the press was treated to cocktails and hors d‘oeuvres while they inspected the vehicle.
But at the New York International Auto on Friday, potential passengers got to see for the first time the taxi that will shuttle them home in the wee hours or take them cross town when they’re late for a meeting for the next decade.
The NV200 model attracted a small crowd.
Myles Simmons from Manhattan looked closely at the prototype on display. He said he appreciated many of the next taxi’s features.
"I do like that there's leg room, I like that you have personal climate controls in the back, and that there's the USB ports where you can charge things," he said.
He did wonder why the minivan couldn’t fit wheelchairs.
Brooklyn’s Eddie Fernandez said part of the reason he came to the auto show was to look at the taxi. “I wanted to see exactly what it looked like up close before they put it on the street.”
Fernandez said the larger size will come in handy for New Yorkers who schlep around tons of stuff. “A lot of people have baby carriages, or luggage, they carry big bags around with I-Pads and all of their electronics, so I like that,” he said.
But others like Brooklyn's Orlando Vargas didn't approve of the boxy shape of the Nissan. Vargas would have preferred something sportier.
"This is just too cargo-y, just like a delivery van in a way, a yellow delivery van," he said.
The NV200 will retail for $29,700 when it goes on sale in 2013.
The brighter yellow cabs of the near future will be on display at the Javits Center until April 15.
Friday, April 06, 2012
The 'Taxi of Tomorrow' was unveiled this week with much fanfare. The Nissan minivan has been chosen by city officials be the cab for the next decade, beginning next year as older cabs are retired.
Friday, April 06, 2012
The livery industry is set to change how it does business when the Taxi and Limousine Commission will vote on rules for its new five borough street hail plan this month.
Friday, April 06, 2012
The livery industry is set to change how it does business after the Taxi and Limousine Commission votes on rules for its new five borough street hail plan later this month.
It’s the last major step before the first 6,000 livery permits are sold in June and legal street hail service comes to the outer boroughs and upper Manhattan in a new form -- and it’s causing much uncertainty within the industry.
At a TLC sponsored information session near Yankee stadium this week, about 300 livery drivers and base owners crowded into the auditorium at Lincoln Hospital voicing concerns and seeking answers.
Judy Vargas, who owns a livery base in Washington Heights, said she’s concerned about a new rule that would punish base owners if their drivers break the rules, such as accepting street hails outside the stipulated boundaries.
“The TLC should not fine base owners when the taxi drivers pick up in the street because if we are going to have a permit that costs $3,000, we shouldn't be fined for that."
Vargas is also worried about some of the other requirements but she believes if she doesn't opt in her drivers will leave. There are 476 livery bases throughout the city.
"If we're not part of it … my drivers will go somewhere else,” Vargas said.
Drivers are also up in arms about some of the changes outlined by the TLC is a 89-page rule book on the proposed street hails.
(Photo: TLC Commissioner David Yassky talks with livery driver Clara Santiago.Kathleen Horan/WNYC)
Veteran Bronx driver Hamilton Delos Santos said he's been picking up street hails for a decade — even though it’s not technically legal. He has been ticketed three times in 10 years, but successfully fought the summonses.
He said he’s not sure why he would need to invest about $5,000 to upgrade his cab and buy a new livery permit.
“I’ve been taking street hails since I’ve been doing it, so now we have to invest all this money. It’s something we've already been doing for so long — what’s the total investment, the paint the meter, the taxi top — too many questions not being answered in there.”
The fine for accepting illegal street hails is $350.00.
During the information session, Clara Santiago, who works for Riverside Car Service, asked TLC Commissioner David Yassky why she'll have to paint her car a different color if she purchases a livery permit.
She has a black Lincoln.
“You want to keep it that way..I understand. But we’re trying to make a distinction about the cars that can pick up off the street and the ones that can't,” he said.
Yassky said he's not surprised there is still some confusion. He expects much of that to melt away after the plan is enacted and passengers do what they do best — put up their arms and hail a cab.
"Once we get the licenses issued and the drivers are in the street with borough taxis and people are able to hail them down, I think a lot of the questions people will figure out for themselves. Drivers are smart, passengers are smart. Our job is to just get those cars out on the street so people can flag them down.”
Wednesday, April 04, 2012
Broken glass and soot on the sidewalk around Macy's in Herald Square serve as reminders of the fire that forced the evacuation of the iconic store for about an hour Wednesday afternoon.
Sunday, April 01, 2012
A sure sign that spring is here is the sound of the of the Cyclone roller coaster rattling in Coney Island. The 2012 season officially begins on Sunday and will be operating on weekends until Memorial Day when the seaside amusement areas Luna Park and the Scream Zone open daily.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
The City Council approved a bill that would guarantee higher wages for some workers at buildings that receive city subsidies of more than $1 million on Wednesday. Most would see their wages top $20 an hour.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
In Brooklyn, the Park Slope Coop voted 1005 to 653 not to move forward on a controversial proposal to ban products from Israel Tuesday night.
Thursday, March 22, 2012
The Taxi and Limousine Commission held its first public hearing on Thursday about proposed rule changes in the taxi industry as the city’s five borough taxi legislation comes to fruition and street hail permits begin to be sold in June.
Friday, March 09, 2012
Billy’s Antiques, the offbeat shop located under the big tent on the corner of Bowery and Houston is having a final goodbye party this weekend.
Thursday, March 08, 2012
( New York, NY -- Kathleen Horan, WNYC) It ain’t easy being green. But in a few months New Yorkers could be hailing an emerald, lime or chartreuse cab.
The city is moving ahead with its plan to sell street hail livery permits that allow livery cars to accept street hails in upper Manhattan and the outer boroughs. Part of the plan: the cabs have to be noticeably different from other taxis.
The TLC rules state the cabs “must be painted” what’s called “Street Hail Livery [color to be designated]” — and it can’t be yellow.
[To vote on what color you like, click here. )
Though TLC officials say they have not yet settled on a color, insiders say it’s been narrowed down to green.
“From my understanding, it’s going to be ‘livery green,’” said Guy Palumbo, former executive director of the Livery Roundtable.
Green has become the likely choice through a process of elimination, according to Livery Base Owners Association spokeswoman Cira Angeles.
“Blue to a certain degree is associated with the police, red with emergency vehicles. Finally someone mentioned green, and it sounded like a pretty good idea when it comes to identifying the car,” she said. “I, personally, love green.”
Other than color, street hail liveries will look and act like yellow medallion taxis. They’ll have roof lights, credit card readers, meters and partitions.
But street hail liveries can only pick up in the outer boroughs and in Manhattan north of West 110th street and East 96th. Airports are also excluded.
The yellow taxi hasn’t always been painted its signature color. Cabs could be found in an array of hues until the City Council passed a bill in 1968 that prohibited non-medallion cabs or liveries from using typical cab colors of yellow, orange, red or gold— differentiating them from medallion cabs.
In 1970, the city made yellow the official color of the medallion cab.
Yellow was the easiest color to differentiate long distance and not a lot of regular cars on the road were painted that color, according to professor GrahamRussell Gao Hodges, author of the book Taxi! A Social History of the New York City Cab Driver.
He said now the livery industry has come “full circle,” ready to enter a more legitimate world and be painted its own distinctive color.”
The TLC is expected to announce the color sometime this spring before the draft rules are finalized and the sale of the first 6,000 livery permits begins in June.
Livery passengers have differing opinions about what color the TLC should settle on.
Bronx resident Mario Robles favors dark blue, the color of many New York professional sports teams.
“Green is OK, but me, personally, I don’t think it professional,” he said. “I’ve seen green cabs in other cities, I don’t think of it as a New York color.”
Thursday, March 08, 2012
Tuesday, March 06, 2012
The Taxi and Limousine Commission is proposing a budget increase of $20 million in the next fiscal year to cover the cost of providing grants for purchasers of street hail livery permits that are wheelchair accessible.
Sunday, March 04, 2012
Farmers in the state hoping to tap into the New York City market will connect with retail, restaurant and others food service industry at the Farm to City Expo on Tuesday at the Javits Center.
Thursday, March 01, 2012
The Taxi and Limousine Commission on Thursday approved a pilot program to remove TV screens from the back of 30 cabs and replace them with iPads or other tablets.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
As spring nears, Coney Island is preparing for another season. Luna Park, the amusement park at Coney Island, is looking to fill 100 more positions than last year at the park and in the concession stands.
Monday, February 27, 2012
City lawyers are heading to court Tuesday seeking an appeal of a judge's order that the Taxi and Limousine Commission must submit a long term-plan for wheelchair accessibility.