Kate Hinds is an Associate Producer for WNYC News. She also reports for WNYC and Transportation Nation, a public radio reporting project that combines the work of multiple newsrooms to provide coverage of how we build, rebuild and get around the nation.
Your Five-Boro Taxi Plan Questions, Answered: Part Deux
Tuesday, June 11, 2013 - 05:53 PM
What's the official name for those bright green taxis?
We wondered about this too, because "Five Boro" is just not rolling off the tongue. According to the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, the technical term is "Street Hail Liveries." But they're going with "Boro Taxi." (We suspect "green cab" will take off, although a colleague is lobbying for "apple cab." Got a favorite? Weigh in in the comments section.) And technically the color is 'apple green.' (Want the paint color codes? Here you go.)
So I can take a Boro Taxi FROM another borough TO Manhattan, but not the reverse? That makes no sense -- especially for the driver, who has to turn around and leave Manhattan without a fare!
We got the most comments on this piece of the plan. Here's the city's official position: it's not about Manhattan. The TLC says 13,000 yellow cabs are already on Manhattan streets, with 2,000 more to come. "The moving principle behind Boro Taxis is to provide increased transport options to the underserved areas outside the Central Business District. If Boro Taxis were permitted to provide outbound service from Manhattan, they would be less available to serve these underserved areas."
So will the Boro Taxis stay in the outer boroughs and northern Manhattan?
Currently, livery cabs don't have GPS, so there's no real way to know how many of those trips are intra-borough vs. inter-borough. But the city says there are over 100,000 livery rides in the five boroughs every day. It's safe to say many of them don't go south of 110th Street in Manhattan (aka the Boro Taxi's "Forbidden Zone").
Let's say I live in Canarsie and I want to take a cab to JFK. Why should I have to pay the flat fee to the airport!
You don't. The flat airport fare ($52 -- plus tolls) only exists between Manhattan and JFK Airport. Otherwise, passengers pay the metered fare. So a Boro Taxi trip between, say, Astoria and LaGuardia should cost around $14 (if HopStop is any guide.)
It's not that yellow cabs can’t be hailed outside of Manhattan (and the airports), it’s that they’re hard to find, right? If I see an available yellow cab outside Manhattan I can still legally hail it, right?
Absolutely right -- if you can find one. Because most taxis serve Manhattan, they can be hard to find in the outer boroughs.
I'm in a wheelchair. Are there any accessible Boro Taxis?
Twenty percent of them must be wheelchair-accessible. To incentivize their adoption by the livery fleet, the city will give owners $15,000 to purchase an accessible vehicle.
Will I have as hard a time hailing a Boro Taxi at 4:30 pm as I do with getting a yellow cab?
Time will tell -- but liveries tend not to follow the same "shift change" structures as yellow cabs.
To read the first installment of "Your Five-Boro Taxi Plan Questions, Answered," go here.