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Taxi Advocates Plead Their Case To New York's Governor

Thursday, December 15, 2011 - 11:51 AM

(photo by Kathleen Horan/WNYC)

(Kathleen Horan -- New York, WNYC) Taxi industry insiders attended a meeting in Albany on Wednesday in a last bid attempt to resolve issues surrounding the Bloomberg administration’s outer borough taxi bill. The two-hour discussion was convened and chaired by Governor Andrew Cuomo himself -- who will spend still more time on the issue on Thursday.

Following Wednesday's summit, Cuomo said “even though government comes with the best of intentions, to redesign a system, there can be unanticipated consequences.” He said one of the main sticking points in the plan to allow livery cars to accept street hails is wheelchair accessibility — and if anyone would purchase accessible permits since the vehicles are more expensive.

"The industry says that nobody is going to buy those permits because it’s not economically feasible. They can’t afford to buy the cars given the revenue. That's a big hole in the current plan," Cuomo explained.

He added another key issue to be worked out is how the plan would be enforced.

The governor has until next week to veto or sign before the bill before it expires. If he does sign, it’ll likely to be contingent on significant changes to the bill happening through a chapter amendment.

Taxi and Limousine Commissioner David Yassky called the meeting a "very productive discussion." Yassky said the city will keep working to try and hash out an agreement.

If it becomes law, the plan would green-light the sale of about 2000 yellow medallions, adding about $1 billion dollars in revenue to the city's budget.

Speaking Thursday on an Albany radio station, Cuomo said that he's spending time more time on the issue this week. "There's no 'quick' on the taxi bill. It's a very complicated matter." He added that "the devil is in the details, and this is designing a new taxi and livery system for the city of New York."

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Comments [3]

Taxi dude

Bravo governor! Don't let the Mayor have his selfish way and ruin the NYC taxi industry. The TLC can not enforce the mst basic of rules and will not be able to enforce this plan. Governor, please make all taxis in NYC accessible and be the leader we need! Too many too rich taxi robber barons that don't even I've in NYC don't care about working drivers!

Dec. 15 2011 09:54 PM
TAXI DRIVER

Street hails are not necesary these days, a car service can be request through-out the 5 boroughs by phone, mobile apps, or through there respective websites.
At the convenience of any location, be it home, job, lobby, club, etc; a car service can be requested without the need to be hailing a cab on the street in bad weather.
Now if the riding public can’t make a simple call or use a mobile app to request a car service, then we are all doomed.

Dec. 15 2011 08:23 PM
TAXI DRIVER

I’m a taxi driver, this is a bad idea and should not be passed into law; this will only cause job loses for dispatcher, unneccesary roaming of drivers, and pollution. Cabs and car services are already pretty cheap, even though there is such high overhead costs of insurance, fuel, leases, licensing, and government regulations. Most of the riding public doesn’t take those issues into account, and they don’t really care. They just want a cheap ride close to nothing. The taxi industry is not sustainable at the prices the general public would like it to be.

Dec. 15 2011 08:22 PM

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