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Deal Reached on Controversial NYC Taxi Plan

Tuesday, December 20, 2011 - 07:08 PM

(photo by Kathleen Horan/WNYC)

(New York, NY - WNYC) New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Tuesday a deal that would expand taxi service in Upper Manhattan and the outer boroughs, by allowing livery cabs to pick up street hails, and meet concerns about ensuring wheelchair accessibility.

Under the deal, 2,000 medallions will be available, and all of them will be accessible. The bill that passed earlier this year would have made available 1,500 medallions with only 500 as accessible-taxi medallions.

Cuomo said the deal means the city gets "more than a good bill." The sale of the medallions will generate revenue for the city, the outer boroughs will get better service and there will be accessible cabs that will help the disabled, in particular those in wheelchairs.

"No one thought we'd get this home," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at the press conference via phone. "We never gave up and we never stopped making the case."

The legislation authorizing the new cab service, and the sale by the city of $1 billion worth of medallions, has been held up for weeks by Cuomo, who said the bill did not provide enough handicap-accessible cabs, and would be shot down in court.

TLC Commissioner David Yassky said the agreement "will bring first rate, legal taxi service to all five boroughs."

As for permits for outerborough livery cabs, 18,000 permits will be made available over the next three years, and 20 percent of those cabs will have to be accessible. The city's original plan had called for 30,000 permits.

The governor hosted the press conference in the Red Room of the State Capital.

With reporting by Kathleen Horan

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Comments [3]

TAXI DRIVER

NOW FOR THOSE WITH DISABILITIES, THERE IS ALREADY A DEDICATED FLEET OF VEHICLES TO ACOMMODATE THERE TRANSPORTATION NEEDS CALLED ACCESS-A-RIDE AND OTHER AMBULETTE STYLE SERVICES. Some agendas will push this issue at all costs, even though it makes no common sense for the greater good of the industry, and another burden to taxi drivers, even though there are already existing alternatives that have been mentioned above.

Dec. 22 2011 12:51 PM
TAXI DRIVER

This was only passed to fill the city coffers, but without any real benefit to the taxi industry or the drivers. 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. 22 2011 12:47 PM
TAXI DRIVER

Great plan to fill the coffers of the city.
This will only cause loses for bases, dispatcher, and unneccesary roaming of drivers; and let's not forget the extra accidents and pollution this will cause. Cabs and car services are already pretty cheap, even though there is such high overhead costs of insurance, car purchase, repairs, 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. 22 2011 12:45 PM

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