Your Five-Boro Taxi Plan Questions, Answered

Thursday, June 06, 2013 - 03:31 PM

(Kate Hinds)

Starting this summer, there will be a new taxi in town, and apple green cabs will start plying their trade citywide. Here's what you need to know about New York City's newest class of taxi service.

Can't I already hail a cab?

Yes, you can -- but only in Manhattan, or on a taxi line at JFK or LaGuardia. In the rest of the city, people who want to take a car service legally must 'prearrange' their ride by calling that number that has all the same phone digits in it. The Five Boro Taxi plan aims to do what it says -- expand street hail to all five boroughs.

What will the new cabs look like?

Check out the picture above and the slideshow below. As you'll see, the official color is apple green, because -- as Taxi and Limousine Commissioner David Yassky said -- that color is "pleasing to the eye, easy to see from a distance and blends well with the urban landscape." They'll also have roof lights, just like yellow cabs, and meters.

So how does it work?

Are you in Queens, the Bronx, Staten Island or Brooklyn? Are you standing in Manhattan north of 96th Street on the east side or above 110th on the west? Do you see that apple green car in the distance with the roof light on? Stick your arm out.

That's it? I don't have to call anyone?

No. But you can use your smartphone. (In a separate ruling Thursday, a court lifted an injunction on the city's pilot e-hail program.)

How much does it cost?

The Boro Taxis are metered, and the rates are the same as for yellow cabs. PS: you can pay by credit card.

I'm used to negotiating fares with livery drivers. Will this cost more than I'm used to?

Really, there's no way to know right now. But Yassky said preliminary research indicates "it's a slightly better deal for the passengers" as opposed to the negotiated fare. Your mileage may vary.

Just to recap: can I take it from an outer borough INTO Manhattan?

Yes. Rides can't originate in Manhattan, but they can terminate there.

Can I take a Boro Taxi from Manhattan TO an outer borough?


Why not?

Because the GPS won't let you. The meter can't begin working in Manhattan. In a press conference Thursday, Yassky referred to the area roughly south of 96th Street as "the forbidden zone." We're hoping that term catches on.

How many will there be?

The city will issue 18,000 'HAIL' licenses' to livery cab drivers over the next three years. Yes, HAIL -- for 'Hail Accessible Interborough License.' To apply to for a license, call 311 -- but only if you're currently a livery owner/operator.

Are they wheelchair-accessible?

Twenty percent of them will be. In addition, later this fall the city will begin auctioning off 2,000 additional wheelchair-accessible yellow cab medallions. That plan is expected to generate over $1 billion in revenue for New York.

When am I going to start seeing them?

At a press conference Thursday the mayor said they'd start hitting the streets sometime this summer.

Why hasn't this happened sooner?

Yellow cab fleet owners said only yellow cabs had the exclusive right to street hail (which is why medallions cost upwards of $1 million), and they held the plan up in court.

Kate Hinds
Kate Hinds
Kate Hinds
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (center) and NYC TLC Commissioner David Yassky (at podium)
Kate Hinds
How green was my apple
taxi, borough, green
Kate Hinds
Kate Hinds
The inside of a sample five borough taxi -- it's got that new meter smell
Kate Hinds


Comments [34]

Ahmed from Queens, NY

can i drive Green Cab with Yellow Cab license? Or not?

Jun. 25 2014 09:03 PM
DMIT from Queen, NY

I would like to buy 2 green cab permits for lease to licensed drivers in 5 borrows of NY, how can I process permit application?

May. 07 2014 07:54 AM
John from Queens

I'm very interested in obtaining NYC Green Cab Medalian permit.I want to know
how many permit can I get and how much does it cost? Please explain.

Apr. 13 2014 02:03 PM
asim from queens

I want to ask you there is so many news about if I don,t have tlc license since 1 year old I dnt oprate r drive green cab is it truth? can u explane me I hv 8 month old tlc lincese can I drive the green ca??

Mar. 18 2014 11:55 PM
B J from Jamaica

where Can i find all answers of these questions

Feb. 26 2014 09:11 PM
veronica M from Queens


Jan. 17 2014 11:41 PM
Mahendra Persaud from QUEENS


Jan. 10 2014 03:52 AM
Justin from Manhattan

Geo-fencing doesn't work and green cabs have been
spotted accepting cash for rides. It would be a far more
logical solution to have Manhattan + airports to the yellow
cabs, give new greens the rest. This way no sophisticated
geo-fencing in ever needed.

Dec. 31 2013 08:39 PM
mahmud from queens

why yellow cab pickup outside the manhattan? yellow cab should freeze their meter like green cab outside the manhattan.rush hour green cab should pickup from manhattan because not enough yellow cab. green cab should pickup from manhattan instead of E96 , E79 and w110, W96 thank you

Dec. 24 2013 11:25 AM

Did you get an answer if you can get 10 green can permits?

Dec. 07 2013 10:27 PM
mahmood from queens n y

can i buy 10 greencab permitts and rent or lease to people?

Oct. 24 2013 01:00 AM
Darbara Singh

Who can legally drive the whell chair accessible green cabs? I have a hack licence Can i drive with only that? Thank you.

Oct. 22 2013 01:58 PM
Jonathan from New york

When we have the green cabs can be in front of the bar line without the police move us no reason

Sep. 27 2013 02:26 PM
tito from queens

how can i get one of those green medallion? and much they cost?

Sep. 05 2013 05:07 PM
Ghulam Jillani from Brooklyn

I m a yellow cab deiver ,I want to apply for green cab.How can I apply by internet.

Aug. 28 2013 03:10 AM
Danny S. from Bronx, NY

Since these green taxis must be affiliated with an existing livery base, will they (or may they) also have radios, so that the same vehicle can legally respond to both street hails and radio-dispatched calls? Or does it remain one or the other, with no vehicle allowed to handle both types of call?

Aug. 20 2013 11:08 AM
Nerys Jimenez from Bronx

My dad have been a taxi driver for more than 15 years. When he started the application to buy the permit for the Green cars I thought it was going to be a crazy idea because he spent a lot of money buying the permit and preparing the car. However, everything have been worth it. He loves working with "White people" and now he work less with the Radio. Not offense, but everyone should know that in the Bronx few people give tips, plus, nobody pay a trip with a credit card. Which means when you pick up people from Manhattan, they pay you what it is with no problem at all and they give you good tips. I have been hearing a lot of taxi drivers complain about the new program, but in my opinion, it is pretty good deal. I mean, Street Hail gives an opportunity to work freely in 5 boroughs and offers more payment option to the passenger, instead of picking up passengers from the street illegally and having to pay tickets. I couldn't hear a better deal. Taxi drivers should take advantage of this awesome program.

Aug. 18 2013 03:42 PM
Joseph Smith from New York City

There are two issues that I find hilarious.
1. When Yasky was a councilman, he hated Nanny Dueshberg and now he's his appointed AssKiss

2. When has either one of these dipshits ever taken a cab for work or personal reasobs

Aug. 11 2013 07:39 AM
Sheila Walker from bronx

Can I take a green cab from the Bronx to La Guardia airport and what would the fare be

Aug. 07 2013 10:08 AM

I have an quistion ,
When yellow cab change the shift from 3pm to 5pm the rush our time , can green taxi driver pick up from down town manhatten
Than u

Jul. 31 2013 06:57 PM
Rey lugo

(Cons on my behalf)As me being a taxi owner up in the bronx I could tell you is going to be bad for us..
These green cabs are going to start their fares at.2.50 while our minimum charge is 7 bucks..
It's very obvious that everyone is going to take the green cabs..

(Pros on my behalf) the green cabs will be out there but they won't over populate us gypsy cabs yet ..
Meaning if we do stop for them they won't be able to decline us because they're isn't many green cabs yet..
Meaning it'll give us still a little bit of work till maybe next year I say

Jul. 30 2013 09:58 PM
Sam Abrams from 10003

If rides can't originate in Manhattan, the cabbies will have to dead head back..a very bad deal for them

Jul. 12 2013 10:31 AM
ahmed from 10468

the street limit in manhattan for boro taxi is too short, what about 86st from east and 96st from west.

Jul. 03 2013 08:13 AM
John Rain from Morningside Heights

Not that they have ever had much of a voice, but, if I'm not mistaken, this isn't really very good news for livery drivers, say in Washington Heights, etc. Now they can do the "street hails" they've always been doing, but without fear of getting a ticket... but soon they'll be squeezed out of the market by green Boro Taxis, right?

Jul. 01 2013 01:17 AM
mirza from jamaica

i am a E license holder from 1.5 can i drive green cab ....pls..?

Jun. 30 2013 04:17 PM
Jawad iqbal from 26-10 18 street astoria

I need a application and information about green taxi five bohoro

Jun. 29 2013 01:32 PM
Josh Bell

"Can't I already hail a cab? Yes, you can -- but only in Manhattan, or on a taxi line at JFK or LaGuardia."

Correction: you can hail a yellow cab anywhere in the city -- they're just hard to find outside Manhattan. But in Brooklyn, pretty much between the Brooklyn Heights and Prospect Park (and Williamsburg), you usually can find a taxi within a few minutes.

Jun. 07 2013 10:31 PM
Orla from NYC

So, TLC's David Yassky is enough of a neanderthal to say on Brian Lehrer's show that "pretty women" feared hailing an unmarked cab (what a relief to other women that they're not targets of sexual assault!)...
and then his comment is doctored for the 2p.m. news to simply quote him saying that "women" fear unmarked cabs.
It's not the job of WNYC to make Yassky look good. Rather, it's helpful for the public to gain insights into how those in positions of power actually think.

Jun. 07 2013 02:16 PM
Drew from Bronx

Now can we talk about how poor Manhattanites get their cab fare to JFK capped at $45 while Bronxites, who as we all know are awash in money, get to pay $160 when booking over the phone? All this does is channel more traffic through the crowded streets of Manhattan (along with free bridges Bx-Mhtn & Mhtn-Bkln but tolls Bx-Queens).

Also making half of interborough traffic go empty is idiotic for road use, financial, and environmental reasons, fully agreeing with Carolina from Bkln there.

Jun. 07 2013 02:01 PM
LaMorena from Manhattan

If rides may not originate in Manhattan, then there is no reason to "stick your arm out" above 96th on the East Side or above 110th on the West. I can only imagine that in describing the prohibition against initiating a ride in "Manhattan", there is the assumption that the borough begins at and extends south from the streets referenced above. Although services are improving, neighborhoods in northern Manhattan--Harlem, Washington Heights, Inwood--are the actual "forbidden zone." It strikes me that this bias makes it impossible to hail a yellow cab in northern Manhattan right now. I fear it will also prevent the bike share from operating in upper Manhattan any time soon.

Jun. 07 2013 09:58 AM
Jacob from Clinton Hill

I'm pretty sure it's already legal to hail a yellow taxi anywhere in the city. It's just much more difficult to find one outside Manhattan.

Jun. 07 2013 09:33 AM
Rebecca Mazzoni

Sadly, this still won't solve the problem of getting home from Manhattan if you live in the Outer Boroughs. Routinely, Yellow Cabs won't unlock their doors until you tell them where you are going. And by limiting the Boro Taxis from being able to pick up return fares to the Outer Boroughs, it's a disincentive for them to take you into Manhattan in the first place (and have to deal with the unreimbursed expense of getting out of Manhattan).

How about Boro Taxis in Manhattan can ONLY pick up fares to the Outer Boroughs? Since they are GPS enabled, if the ride originates and ends in Manhattan, there's a large surcharge?

Jun. 07 2013 09:09 AM
carolina from Brooklyn

Where is the logic in forbidding green cabs from picking up people in Manhattan and taking them home to Queens or Brooklyn? This rule is making cabs empty 50% of the time. What good does that do for air pollution, earning a day's wage, convenience for people traveling in any direction? This is idiotic.

Jun. 06 2013 09:27 PM
Peg Margoshes from Jackson Heights

Will all the green cabs and all the interboro cabs from Manhattan go off-duty at about the same time, as they do now (between 3:30 and 4:45pm)? That is the toughest time to get any cab. If they would stagger the off hour, it would work better.

Also, what will the interboro cabs look like?

Jun. 06 2013 08:54 PM

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