It’s not lime green, not key lime pie green, not sea-foam green, nor is it chartreuse. Nope. The city’s new taxi for upper Manhattan and the outer boroughs, unveiled this morning, is apple green.
The mayor’s office emphasized this specific shade of green at a press conference at City Hall this morning by having a basket of green apples on site and one prop apple at the podium that speakers could hold on to and toss in the air if they wanted, to emphasize that this new taxi is in fact “apple” green — a topic of much debate among reporters in attendance.
In front of the steps of City Hall, the mayor’s office took the cover off a model of the new taxi, which looks a lot like the yellow taxis, only it’s (apple) green.
The new green vehicles, however, will serve a different purpose than the iconic yellow taxis of New York City.
Called Boro Taxis, these rides will function as taxi service for the seven million New Yorkers who live outside Manhattan’s Central Business District, i.e. upper Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. For the first time, city will license 18,000 livery vehicles to legally pick up street hail passengers in the rest of the city. The announcement today comes after the Taxi and Limousine Commission officially approved regulations last week, authorizing state legislation proposed by Bloomberg and signed into law in February.
This proposal has faced a number of obstacles, ranging from concerns of wheelchair access to opposition from yellow cab owners, who say the new cabs will hurt their business and their medallions’ value.
But the mayor was all smiles this morning standing in front of the new vehicle after photographers and camera crews took a peek at the interior (it’s not green inside).
“It’s good to be here in the Big Apple, or the green apple,” Bloomberg said, announcing the new cab. “They’ll be apple green — that’s the official name of this color…We think apple green is attractive and distinctive. It is easy on the eyes and easy to pick out…in traffic.”
These vehicles are for “the parts of the city today where you cannot get a cab,” he said.
The first wave of 6,000 green taxis, which have the same standardized fares as yellow taxicabs, will hit the road in June. Permits will cost applicants $1,500 each and will be valid for three years. When asked whether the green taxis can pick up passengers in the areas of Manhattan already covered by yellow taxis, Taxi and Limousine Commission Chairman David Yassky said that those drivers would be fined for doing so and eventually could have their licenses revoked if they do it enough times.
Apparently not satisfied with the mayor’s explanation of the color choice during his remarks, a reporter asked Bloomberg in the Q&A portion of the conference if the mayor could talk a bit more about why the city chose apple green.
“We went out to try to find something that would be recognizable…that would be distinguishable from the yellow cabs, and that would be pleasing to the eye and fit in with the city. The big apple has long since [been a symbol] of New York,” he said, adding, “And green apples taste great.”