Brigid Bergin is the City Hall reporter for WNYC. She covers city politics including the 2013 mayoral race and transition.
Move over, Granny Smith. Apple green taxis are coming to an outer borough near you.
That's the official color the city selected for the new boro Taxis. Cars this shade of green, a color WNYC reported was on the Taxi and Limousine Commission’s short list, are scheduled to bring taxi service to Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, the Bronx and northern Manhattan starting this summer.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg joined TLC Commissioner David Yassky and other elected officials for the big reveal on Sunday in City Hall Plaza. The mayor called the vibrant shade “attractive” and “distinctive” adding, “It’s easy on the eyes and easy to pick out from a distance in traffic and that's going to help customers.”
“I think that green matches the leafier nature of the boroughs, as opposed the office towers of midtown,” said Yassky.
The TLC plans to issue 18,000 permits that will allow livery vehicles to legally pick up street hails, a practice that is currently illegal and subject to tickets and fines through TLC enforcement agents.
Yassky said the city has a “zero tolerance policy” on illegal street hails with 36,000 tickets issued in fiscal year 2012.
Under the new plan, current livery drivers will be eligible to apply for the $1,500 boro taxi permit on a first-come, first-serve basis starting Tuesday May 29. In June, the city will issue the first 6,000 permits, with two subsequent waves to follow.
A group of yellow cab owners have filed a suit to block the plan. That lawsuit is still pending.
Looking at a picture of the new cab color, Andrew Lis, 38, and his 7-year-old daughter Josie gave it a luke-warm reception.
“It's ok. It doesn't look like a cab,” said Lis as his daughter Josie chimed in, “It looks booger-colored.”
Taiwo Whetstone, 30, gasped at the green hue.
“Oh, my! That's really bright. Bright green. I mean it seems like the Brooklyn version of a taxi cab,” suggested Whetstone who lives in Clinton Hill.
But she liked the idea of it and said it would make her feel better about hailing a cab, “Coming from Brooklyn, you know, that’s kind of nice to have taxi cabs that are that obvious.”