New York

Taxi Bill Letting Livery Drivers Pick Up Street Hails in Outer Boroughs Passes Assembly

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Despite yellow cabs surrounding the New York Capitol building today to protest legislation that would let livery drivers pick up passengers who hail them in the outer boroughs and northern Manhattan, the Assembly has passed the bill in an 110-28 vote, reports the AP. Yellow cab drivers had argued that losing the exclusive right to street hails would cost them money — at the same time, they said that lax law enforcement was allowing livery drivers to swoop in on their fares already.

After the vote, Republican Sen. Martin Golden offered the hint of a compromise, telling the 100-some protesting drivers, “We hear you. We understand it. We are talking to the mayor to see what we can come up with.”

According to stats, 97 percent of yellow cab pickups are in central Manhattan and at La Guardia and JFK airports, though 80 percent of the city lives outside of Manhattan. With this bill, 1,500 more cab medallions and “as many as 30,000 hail privilege permits to for-hire vehicles and 450 permits for base stations” would be authorized.

Since a fair share of cab drivers don’t seem to want to go to Brooklyn in the first place, is this so bad, really?

Assembly passes NYC taxi bill to expand livery pickups [AP/Yahoo]