Home Asides Taxi & Limousine Commission approves street hail plan

Taxi & Limousine Commission approves street hail plan

by Benjamin Kabak

While Gov. Cuomo took his sweet time signing the bill authorizing street hails of livery cabs, the Mayor’s pet project is set to go into effect now that the Taxi & Limousine Commission has approved the details. By a 7-2 vote, the commission OK’d the controversial plan even as current medallion owners raised a big stink about it. (Check out Kathleen Horan’s Twitter feed for some great comments. The WNYC reporter was all over this story.)

Even though finding a yellow cab outside of Manhattan or even north of 96th St. can be a challenge, medallion owners viewed these limited-range options as a threat to their core business model. The plan will introduce 18000 new medallions over the next few years and will generate some much-needed cash for the city as well as improving transportation options. The first 6000 will, says Transportation Nation, go on sale in June as long as a lawsuit filed by current cabbies does not succeed in putting a temporary stop to this plan.

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Stan April 19, 2012 - 5:02 pm

I live in bed-stuy. I never see a yellow cab. However, livery drivers pick up street hails all the time.


Status quo for me

Spendmore Wastemore April 19, 2012 - 6:56 pm

Let’s hope this doesn’t turn into a way to hit the existing livery drivers with fines for doing street hails. In places where it’s been unofficially allowed (above about 98th st)I done service by flagging whatever Town Car was driving by.

Yellows don’t know the traffic patters and one-ways above 110, and they’re in a hurry bc they have a higher fixed cost – I think it’s $110/day plus gas for the cab. Medallions seem to work great for the owners (keeps out competition, and the medallions have gone from $250K to 1M in the last decade. I’m sure they’ve put a few into the 1%, it’s also keeping everyone else’s wallet a bit thinner to pay their rent.

Nyland8 April 19, 2012 - 7:23 pm

Up here in Harlem, not only do the gypsy cabs stop for a street hail, they beep an invitation if you step off the curb. And when you get into one, you have to negotiate the price for where you’re going – or you’re going to overpay a yellow cab fare – sometimes by a lot. And the only way to know what’s reasonable is by having taken a yellow cab to the same destination before.

There are times of the day when southbound Broadway has a lot of medallion cabs – shift changes I guess. And then other times when you won’t see one for 10 minutes, and it’s taken. But the livery cabs on Broadway outnumber all other cars combined.

tp April 19, 2012 - 7:32 pm

Will this reduce the rate of yellow cabs refusing to take passengers to Harlem and the Outer Boroughs? I’d assume not. Might it even make it worse ’cause now yellow cabs feel they have even less chance of getting a fare back?

Chicken Underwear April 22, 2012 - 6:00 am

What if I call a car service and they pick up a fare on their way to get me?

UESider April 22, 2012 - 9:24 am

so, will this have a net affect on taxi service whether yellow cab or black cab? or will it really just broadenthe city’s tax base by collecting taxes on the revenues these ‘illegal’ cabs already gather?

Al D April 23, 2012 - 9:26 am

There are never yellow cabs on the business streets in my Brooklyn nabe. The gypsy cabs drive around, tooting their horns at anyone looking like a potential fare, swerving, going slow, weaving. It’s like Bozo is driving!

3ddie April 23, 2012 - 10:57 am

This is complicated for me, since my family is in the medallion business.
I drove a yellow, so I appreciate “spendmore”‘s comment on yellow cab drivers having larger overhead hence the need to hustle a lot more, a lot of people don’t realize that if you drive all day your day can be ruined by taking someone out to Bay Ridge or Staten Island, the fact that you can’t get someone back is a deal breaker and can literally turn your day from breaking even to having a nice day if you stay in the city.
It’s not easy for drivers, it wasn’t back in the 90’s when I drove and it just gotten harder now.


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