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Here's the New NYC Taxi Logo

Thursday, August 23, 2012

T is for (new) Taxis in New York City. (Photo by Caitlyn Kim)

New York city is giving taxis a new look. There's the taxi of tomorrow set to roll out next year, but even the motley mix of sedans and SUVs out there now are getting a new paint job. And when they do, the city's yellow cabs come back more yellow  and as this picture captures, with a new logo, fewer words, and more to the point. JFK airport gets a mention right on the door.

Here's a side-by-side comparison. (Or, top-by-bottom comparison?)

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Transportation Nation

Court Rules NYC Taxis Need Not Be Wheelchair Accessible

Thursday, June 28, 2012

(New York, NY - WNYC) A federal appeals court has struck down a ruling that would have required New York City to give taxi licenses only to wheelchair-accessible vehicles.

The Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Americans with Disabilities Act doesn't require the city to demand that cabbies serve the disabled, only that the city not discriminate against disabled people seeking a license to drive a cab. That's despite the fact that only 2 percent of the city's yellow taxis are wheelchair-accessible.

See the court's decision here.

The city can keep moving toward a contract with Nissan to provide New York with a "Taxi of Tomorrow": a mini-van with transparent roofs, USB chargers and extra legroom--but no easy access to people in wheelchairs.

Mayor Bloomberg praised the decision to let the new cab project move forward. “This ruling is consistent with common sense and the practical needs of both the taxi industry and the disabled, and we will continue our efforts to assist disabled riders,” he said.

Assuming Nissan signs a contract with the city, it will become the sole provider of New York's yellow taxis. The new models would be rolled out beginning next year, as older cabs are retired.

But the Taxis for All Campaign decried the ruling in a statement: "New York City has more taxis than any city in America. Yet only 232 (1.8%) out of 13,237 taxis are accessible to people who use wheelchairs. Because subway stations are also inaccessible, the lack of accessible taxis has left wheelchair users with no viable way to travel in New York City."

The lower court ruling had called access to wheelchair-friendly cabs "a basic civil right." Disability Rights Advocates’ attorney Sid Wolinsky, who represented some plaintiffs in the case, blasted the city for not delivering on that right. “The Bloomberg administration has been astonishingly hostile to people with disabilities," he said. “The notion that New York City would now have a taxi fleet that is mostly not accessible when cities like London have had a 100 percent accessible fleet for over a decade is pretty shameful.”

Wolinsky believes his group could still win the case through other arguments that weren't addressed by the appeals court.

Edith Prentiss of the Taxis For All Campaign agreed. “This ruling will not stop us," she said. "We have been fighting for the rights of persons with disabilities to use this public transportation system for a decade, and the fight will continue."

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Transportation Nation

NYC Taxi Industry Squirms At Prospect of New Rules

Thursday, March 22, 2012

(New York,  NY - Kathleen Horan, WNYC) The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission is holding hearings about proposed rule changes in the taxi industry that would allow the city to sell street hail permits beginning in June.

The commission is expected to vote on the new rules next month and that’s making many in the taxi world tense. TLC ‘s hearing room in Lower Manhattan was packed with industry players lining up for a chance to weigh in.

Yellow medallion fleet owners, who’ve had the exclusive right to street hails, took issue with the TLC’s proposed enforcement plan. Richard Emery with the Metropolitan Taxicab Board of Trade said there is already a problem of illegal poaching within the industry. “Now the law and these rules seek to add up to 18,000 livery hail licenses that will compound, not alleviate, the poaching scourge.” Emery urged the TLC to seize vehicles that don’t honor the prescribed boundaries.

Several livery car company owners said they were concerned that the rules would penalize them with fines or point penalties when a new driver breaks the law. “The base would be held responsible for an action the base cannot control or be privy to or have no ability to stop in the future”, said Tarek Mallah, General Manager with Dial 7 Car Service.

Others within the industry said they were confused about how this new class of for hire vehicle will operate and potentially change how they do business. Denise Mariott Pierce, owner of Transportation Unlimited Car Service in Brooklyn, said she was still weighing her options about whether to opt in or not. She came to the meeting seeking answers about how she’d keep track of a  required surcharge and how she’d reimburse drivers for credit card transactions. She was also concerned about changed the system during an uncertain time. “This isn’t a really good economy—the timing on this isn’t the best,” Pierce said.

TLC Commissioner David Yassky said the commission was seriously considering all testimony and would amend the rules as necessary.He said the TLC would do more outreach by sending out 60,000 information packets to licensees-- since several information sessions about the rule changes have been poorly attended.

But David Pollock, Executive Director for the Committee for Taxi Safety, a group that handles leasing for yellow taxi medallions, said the TLC had a tough job ahead. “Every segment of the industry is fearful about these new rules," he said. "The TLC needs to work with all parts of the industry to make sure one segment is not destroyed in the process.”

 

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Transportation Nation

TN Moving Stories: ARC Repayment Deadline Absolutely, Positively Jan. 25th; NJ Gov. Christie to NY Sen. Schumer: Mind Your Manners

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

NJ Governor Chris Christie says when it comes to voicing opinions about the ARC tunnel, NY Senator Charles Schumer should "mind his manners on the other side of the Hudson River."

Meanwhile, New Jersey's third--and final--deadline to repay the federal government $271 in unused ARC tunnel money is January 25th. (NorthJersey.com)

Amtrak passenger rail service will be restored to downtown St. Paul when the $243 million renovation of the Union Depot is complete next year. (Minnesota Public Radio)

San Francisco Muni employees will lose their free parking perk--and agency officials have vowed to crack down on their staff who park illegally on the street and sidewalks around their job sites (San Francisco Chronicle). But exactly when this will happen is unclear.

In his State of the City speech today, Mayor Bloomberg will roll out a proposal to change taxi rules to make it possible to hail a new category of livery cab anywhere in the outer boroughs. (WNYC)

Mismanagement in the Washington State Department of Transportation caused a “gross waste of public funds,” costing the state $42.5 million in cost overruns. (The News Tribune)

The Federal Transit Administration on Tuesday cleared the way for Oahu to begin construction on a $5.5 elevated rail transit system. (KITV)

One side benefit of China's epic traffic jams: enterprising village residents sell food to stranded travelers at a markup. (New York Times)

Ray LaHood says that "the number of laser strikes on airplanes in 2010 nearly doubled from the previous year to more than 2,800. This is the highest number of incidents since we first began keeping track in 2005."

A new British study found public transit riders are six times more likely to suffer from acute respiratory infections, and occasional riders are most at risk.  (New York Daily News)

Which cars cost the most to insure? Rule of thumb: "Any vehicle that would cause a teenage boy to stop and gawk." (MSN Money)

Minneapolis' Caribou Coffee redesigned bus shelters to look like ovens as part of an ad campaign to promote their new breakfast sandwich. Yes, that heating element is real. (Adrants.com)

Why are thieves swiping catalytic converters from vehicles--which happened this week at an auto dealership in Wayne, New Jersey? 1) The pollution-reduction devices contain platinum and palladium, and 2) they're relatively easy to steal.  (The Star-Ledger, KRDO)

Top Transportation Nation stories that we’re following:  NY Senator Schumer and NJ Governor Christie are trading rhetorical blows over the ARC tunnel. Also: House Transportation Committee chair John Mica says the next transportation authorization bill needs "alternate means of financing," and Montana legislators continue to wrestle with that state's DUI problem.

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NYC Taxis, Ready for A Makeover

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

(Felix Morgner, Flickr)

An iconic symbol is facing a makeover: NYC is holding an international design competition to redesign the yellow cab. The winner will have the exclusive right to make taxis for the next decade.

Currently 16 different vehicles are approved for use as taxis. But the city is looking for a single model that will be used by all: one that is safe, comfortable, fuel efficient, affordable and accessible.  One taxi to rule them all!

Read the story at WNYC.

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