Hailing a Green Cab in the Forbidden Zone: Riders Say Why Not?

Sunday, June 15, 2014 - 06:34 PM


New York City has been cracking down on green taxi drivers who pick up passengers below West 110th and East 96th streets in Manhattan, the zone where only yellow taxis are allowed to accept hails. Since March, officials have issued more than 800 tickets to green taxi drivers for violating the rules. And as part of the crackdown, they're asking riders to avoid hailing green taxis unless they're in Northern Manhattan or the outer boroughs.

People WNYC spoke to on Sunday said they were either not aware of the rules or did not care about them.

Darryl Davis, 24, was on 125th Street, where green cabs can accept hails, but he said on a recent late night, he was able to catch one on 42nd Street.

“At the time it was convenient for me because the yellow cabs weren't stopping,” he said. “I got in the cab that was going to take me home.”

Another man in Harlem, Cody Hannum, also said the rules don't apply.

"Oh not at all. I think it's ridiculous," he said. "If you want a cab, take it."

The city created the green taxi program last summer to allow people in the outer boroughs and Northern Manhattan to hail cabs. The expansion also opened more opportunities for wheelchair-bound riders to use taxis, with 20% of green taxi licenses reserved for accessible vehicles. The yellow taxi fleet is also adding accessible cabs.

David Davids, who uses a wheelchair, said if he finds a cab willing to stop for him, he's not concerned about its color, or the zone he's in.

"I haven't really been taking cabs because it's not really accessible. They don't really stop," he said. "Now they have the van cabs now... maybe that'll work."


Comments [8]

Jim from NYC

The outer boro plan was hatched when Bloomberg was too busy vacationing in Bermuda to get the plows out after a particularly severe NYC blizzard. He bypassed the local boards (who didn't want it), and ran up to Albany to buy support, as he did with his third term. The point being, the entirely foreseeable poaching problem was not really a concern for mayor megalomaniac, who never cared much for the sub-1%.

Jul. 23 2014 09:52 AM
Bronx from NYC

I saw this coming.

Jun. 23 2014 11:40 PM

During the morning and evening rush hours and, depending on weather conditions, some people who seem to be desperate enough for a cab are not going to care much what color the cab is yellow, green, blue, black, etc, etc. That is all some people care about. As long as the cab takes them from point A to point B without incident. And, if there are any major rules, then they should be posted inside of the cab in many langwiges as well as voice tapes like in the new subway cars of today.

Jun. 16 2014 02:56 PM
AMHess from Harlem

The Hail Exclusionary Zone was created to assure yellow cab medallion owners that their value would be protected by preventing green cabs from directly competing with them. It also ensures that green cabs stay where they are needed. While it is wasteful to require drivers to leave the zone after dropping off a fare and potentially incentivizes them to refuse trips to the zone, without it green cabs would flock to midtown where the most profitable trips are--causing congestion, jockeying for passengers, and depleting borough residents of the street-hail service the program was meant to provide.

Jun. 16 2014 01:34 PM
Queens resident from NYC

Every time I get in a yellow cab and say I'm going to Queens they either don't let me in to the cab or pretend that they don't know how to get to my destination. When I get in the cab and tell them I'm going to Queens they do the impossible to be so rude and kick me out of the cab. Once, a cab driver told me to get off and I refused so he parked his cab and refused to move. So, why cant we take a green cab where it is a win win situation for both the passenger and the cab driver.

Jun. 16 2014 11:37 AM

You can hardly blame a green taxi driver who's just dropped off a passenger downtown - the rules require him to schlep all the way back to 96th Street before he can pick up another fare. It's a huge waste of time, and a waste of fuel (which the driver must pay for.)

If the goal is to improve the availability of cabs outside of lower Manhattan, perhaps the rules should be modified to require green cabs to spend a certain amount of time uptown or in the outer boroughs. Cabbies would then make a point of heading uptown, so as to meet the requirement, but they would be able to collect fares along the way.

Jun. 16 2014 07:57 AM
EM PRENTISS from Washington Heights, NYC

I am not bound to my wheelchair. I use my wheelchair.

Jun. 16 2014 07:28 AM
Phu Duong from Brooklyn

Incredible. What a luxury to be able to report on this problem. New York needs to look up and out- stop the navel gazing.

Jun. 16 2014 07:15 AM

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