"Boro taxi" plan stalled
Published: Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 17:06
The Taxi and Limousine Commission planned to begin licensing new apple green “boro taxis” in July, but opponents of the legislation to legalize outer borough curbside pickup have cast it as an unwelcome Mayoral power move.
Bringing taxi service to the “other” boroughs is something the Mayor’s office hopes will help to promote both the further growth of NYC’s outer rim territory and the green image of the city that has been an integral policy line for the Bloomberg administration.
Overall, there are to be 18,000 permits for the new, metered livery cabs issued by the Commission, and local auto shops will be allowed to paint licensed cars the specially designed shade of green. There will also be an expansion of the yellow cab fleet by 2,000 cars.
“The core point here is the Mayor did an end-run around the City Council on this taxi legislation,” said Mayoral Candidate Bill de Blasio of the Albany-based legislation in a NY Daily News article. He is just one of a handful of backers of the lawsuit stalling the sale of approximately $1 billion in taxi medallions.
Employees at Bushwick Car Service were unsure of how the change will affect their business. Olga Lema, a secretary at the company said, “I know a little bit about the green taxis, but I don’t know what will change here now.” Blue Car & Limo Service dispatchers did not want to comment and refused to referThe Ticker to their office. Several other car companies hung up rather than discussing the issue.
According to Carly Baldwin of Reuters in her June 14 article, “Albany approved the plan after the Democrat-led City Council rejected Bloomberg’s proposal.”
“The auctions for the new medallions were supposed to begin in July,” says Baldwin. “But State Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron ruled in favor of the taxi cab owners who sued, and said the matter should have been worked out in the City Council, and not in the State Legislature.”
According to Engoron as quoted from Baldwin’s article, “The Court has trouble seeing how the provision of taxi service in New York City is a matter that can be wrenched from the hands of city government, where it has resided for 75 years, and handed over to the state.”
While some residents in Brooklyn are a little more excited about the new service, especially in the more populated areas that are sure to see a higher concentration of curbside service cars, there are some vocal opponents of the plan.
The decision to halt the issue of medallions is being considered for appeal right now by the city’s corporate counsel, Michael Cardozo, and supporters feel they will be able to overturn the legislation.
Engoron’s order temporarily halted the “boro taxis.” Until further notice it will be business-as-usual for residents of the outer boroughs, with the standard five- to seven-minute wait times for call-for-hire service from the hundred or so existing car services already in operation.