5-Boro Taxi Plan Signed by Cuomo Into Law
The historic five-borough taxi bill, a measure that would allow on-street pick-ups by livery cab drivers outside of the business district in Manhattan and in the other boroughs, was signed yesterday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The plan, which has been proposed by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has the objective of making the cabs more accessible outside the Midtown area by making 18,000 new livery street hail permits available. This would allow drivers to legally pick up passengers on the street.
In reaction to the bill’s signing, Mayor Bloomberg said, “It’s a huge victory for all New Yorkers who ever sought to hail a cab outside Manhattan and in northern Manhattan.”
City officials say that the law is expected to generate much needed revenues for the City amounting to billions of dollars through the sales of about 2,000 new yellow medallions. All of these new yellow medallions are wheelchair accessible. This increases the amount of medallions sold by as much as 500 over the original bill which was passed in June.
A taxi medallion is the most sought after possession of a cab driver or taxi companies as it is a legal and official recognition of the taxi’s ability to do street hails. Many livery taxi companies do not possess medallions, and while most livery drivers do street hails, it is actually illegal.
Nevertheless, a lot of livery cab drivers are against the new measure because of the high cost of the medallions. With the price of each medallions costing at an average of $700,000, they are calling the new plan of the mayor too expensive.