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

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."