Livery Cars Legally Accept Street Hails and Sale of New Taxi Medallions Generate $1 Billion
December 26, 2011
Around Town – By Neal Tepel
An historic agreement brings legal taxi service to the 7 million New Yorkers who live outside Manhattan’s Central Business District. First announced in January in Mayor Bloomberg’s State of the City speech, the bill will create a new class of livery licenses, which will be able to pick up passengers on the street in Northern Manhattan and outside Manhattan. The Taxi and Limousine Commission will issue up to 18,000 of these new licenses, 20 percent of which will be wheelchair accessible. The agreement will also generate a billion dollars in revenue for the City through the sale of 2,000 new yellow medallions, all of which will be wheelchair accessible.
“For the past year, we have been advocating for change that has eluded the City for three decades,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Now that we have achieved this historic agreement, millions of New Yorkers who have never been able to get a cab in their neighborhoods will have access to safer and less costly taxi service; thousands of hard-working livery drivers – many of them immigrants – will be able to come out of the shadows and into the legal economy; and the City will receive a much-needed billion dollars in revenue.
“The taxi cab industry is a New York icon,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. “Now, it will be stronger and more equitable for thousands of drivers who rely on it to make a living. We stand shoulder to shoulder with the drivers and will continue to work for transportation solutions that help both the driver and the customer.”
“Today is a great day for Upper Manhattan and outer borough residents,” said Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito. “Finally, our communities will have access to the same safe, dependable street hail service that residents of the Central Business District have, and the drivers and bases that have served our neighborhoods for decades can provide this service legally. ”