Livery Cab Plan Meets Opposition From Yellow Taxi Drivers

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Tuesday he wants to make sure all New York City residents can hail a cab. So he is proposing allowing some livery cabs to accept street hails in the outer boroughs.

Bloomberg said residents in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island should be able to hail a legal cab just like they can in Manhattan.

Al Jones of 1010 WINS spoke with livery and yellow cab drivers, who came down on opposite sides of the issue.

1010 WINS Reporter Al Jones talks with drivers who might be affected by the livery cab changes.

“I think it [will] help us and we can make more extra money,” one livery cab driver said.

“I think it’s a great idea for the people [for] rush hours…it’s a good idea,” another driver told Jones.

While livery cabs picking up street hails currently occurs, it is technically illegal.  CBS 2’s Lou Young spoke with one resident in Queens, who said he has seen drivers pick up passengers that way “every so often.”

“They’ll beep their horn and if you’re interested in catching a cab, they’ll tell you ‘where do want to go’ and then they give you a price,” Middle Village resident Vincent Vinza said.

Some yellow cab drivers were not too happy about the possibility of the restriction being overturned.

Cabbie Whitey George said the move would only take more money out of his pocket.

“A lot of people are still out of work and we are not making…the same amount of money that we used to make,” George said.

Bhairavi Desai, of the advocacy group New York Taxi Workers Alliance, said yellow-cab drivers will lose income.

“We’re blown away by this,” Desai told Young, “once they’re in Manhattan, what guarantee do we have that the street hails are not going to continue.”

Cabbies also argued that the mayor was devaluing the taxi medallion, which can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“We spend a lot of money on them…over $600,000. What’s the difference between the livery and the yellow cab,” he said.

“If we leave the yellow cab, then we can drive a gypsy. It’s better for us. Why we pay $700 a week,” another cabbie asked.

The proposal will be included in the mayor’s State of the City speech Wednesday. It would require participating livery cabs to install meters and credit card readers.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

More from Al Jones
  • mya

    The more competition the better. The yellow cabbies can continue to pick and choose while the real drivers make the money. Problem Solved!!

  • Keith Kucharnik

    Even with this new proposed livery class it’s still going to be hard to hail a car in the remote outer boroughs. These new cars are going to populate the higher pedestrian volume sections of the city and still have the propensity to not take fares to areas that they would rather not go to either for safety reasons or the primary reason of the low probability of a return fare back to the higher revenue generating area.

  • juan carlos

    the problem is not the livery cabs the problems is the yellow cabs garages that over price rental and have a monopoly in the industry the will give you any car they want and if you complain about it you wont have a car to work any more they force you to have a weekly rental for 700 and if you dont take it you will have to pay a 1000 a week for daily rental they rule and you only pay and pay and pay the garage owners are being the only supporters of this rule because that way they keep their monopoly going .for them is all about making money out the poor driver let the livery cabs pick up people off the street inthe other boroughs and you will see more jobs in the city in and industry that is big more competition and a better administration of the yellow industry you will see more mechanics more increase in the restaurant bussiness car washes auto parts gas station more revenue for the city and more transportation choices.

  • yip

    The taxi commission’s reactiong to this is indeed LAUGHABLE. Ask anyone in the outer boroughs and they will tell you that…there are no taxis IN the outer boroughs, so they have nothing to fear as far as competition from livery cabs.

    I live in a part of Queens that is not that close to the subway, so I have to walk 20 minutes or else wait for a bus. So many times instead, I try to hail a car service on the street. Some days I can stand there for 5 solid minutes (a long time by Manhattan standards) and not one livery cab will pass by or stop for me. And as for taxis, I could probably count the number of times I’ve actually seen a yellow cab in my neighborhood.

    Yellow cabs, when they begin their shift, immediately go to either the airport or Manhattan. They don’t want to spend any time in the boroughs, and if they ARE “unfortunate” enough to pick up a fare in Manhattan who wants to go to another borough, they will want to speed right back to Manhattan so they can get their multiple, short-ride fares. I’ve had numerous cabbies basically ‘complain’ to me, and some be downright rude, when I asked them to take me from Manhattan to Queens. This is no secret…everybody already knows this fact.

    So I’m ALL for Bloomberg’s proposal, and I’m sure everybody in the outer boroughs would approve this!

  • james

    This is great. Because most yellow cabs will not pick up African American passengers in midtown, downtown or anywhere else in Manhattan. So if the the yellow cabbies have a problem then they need to look at themselves

  • Fred

    The problem with rush hour service to JFK Airport in particular is due to the silly 5 to 5 twelve hour shift the cab drivers are forced to follow. Would Bloomberg consider forcing taxi companies
    to have staggered shifts implemented? His current proposal will only make traffic jams more unbearable. It will allow thousands of extra cars into the city flooded with too many already. Propose something to liven traffic so taxi drivers can provide a speedy service to passengers who need to get on time to their destination?

    A taxi driver is losing money with all changes proposed so far.

  • Yellows have already abandoned the boroughs

    Yellow cab drivers are upset? What nonsense. You have to fight to get these guys to even go to the outer boroughs. Try telling them its against the law to deny you a trip home to Prospect Heights, and they look at you like you are from Mars. I’m tired of hailing a cab only to have the doors locked and the window rolled down to ask “where are you going?” God forbid you give the wrong answer. As far as I’m concerned, these crooks should have to deal with plenty more competition.

  • Mirage,Sammy,Goldy

    New York City Cab is Famous in The World. I think this is really a bad idea, A cab driver pays $800/week lease and hardlly make any money where as these black cars pays no lease at all and still makes around 2000/week by illegal pickups from Manhattan and Airports. Moreover they bribe money to hotel doorman for Airport pick-up. What is the use of going to Yellow taxi school and pay so much in fees and what is the use of paying $600000 for a taxi medallian. Where A black car driver will pick up anyone from the street without takeing any class. Why they should be allowed to work as a yellow taxi when they are already in work with their bases and making money there. Instead City Should Follow The TLC laws and should stop these illegal pick ups in Manhattan by these black car drivers. OR CITY SHOULD MAKE ARRANGEMENTS TO CUT THE MEDALLIAN PRICE AND LEASE TO HALF.

  • dan

    Let regulate them, let all collect a $1.00 fee start. Let them subject to same regit regulation as you would, see how many of those cabs on street, put all meters on them so they don’t charge whatever they one. Then you have no yellow and black, just one type. That is all no complaint, if you says livery cab overhead is more than yellow taxi, then you are comparing the cost of living in mexico vs. manhattan. ..

  • Sally Rogers

    Great Idea!!!! I use them all the time! I make sure they have a TLC plate and A Diamond sticker and unlike the Yellows, the Liverys are more than happy to take me to the airport during Rush Hour. The Yellows drive around with the “off duty” light on and pick where they want to go. THe Livery Men and Women have saved me more than a few times. For once, I agree with our Mayor!

  • MBA'ed Taxi Driver

    Lincoln Town Cars already pick up street haling passengers in lower Manhatttan, without Taxi and Limousine Commission supervision — if the TLC can’t police the trade now how can it be expected to do any better with a new group on the streets, even if in the outer bouroughs??? Right on about the airports too!!!

  • Raul

    There is nothing special about hailing a cab on the streets,. The entire planet has that. Unfortunately, a taxi that can be hailed does better IN A BUSINESS AREA. In the livery service sector, you spend a lot of time sitting around during the day because you operate in a RESIDENTIAL AREA. It’s all work, school, and some shoppers. People use their private cars to do the shopping. In a commercial area there is more activity. You don’t have to wait for people to come home from work.

    • sallyrogers

      You’re leaving out the whole sector of “Black Car” liveries who work in Manhattan, Downtown Brooklyn and Long Island City. These guys get outer boro jobs and then can’t get anything back into the city legally unless its from their company. The overhead for these liveries are so extremely high, in some companies they pay more than they would to lease a Yellow. Not all liveries are local :”car services”. When the taxis started accepting credit cards they took alot of business with them from the liveries. Now its time for the liveries to get something back.

  • Americancabbie

    I drop off in Flatbush about once a week and then cruise down Flatbush looking for a fare. I get lucky about 30% of the time.

  • Blendinger

    Airports in particular, are always burdened with a criminal aspect of illegal cabbies, who may not even carry a valid drivers license or insurance, aside from potentiallly robbing you or worse! The idea of cabbies working the streets, other than yellow taxis, is a dangerous undertaking. Yellow Taxis are somewhat regulated. What about gypsy cabs???

  • Hot Blooded

    Can’t remember the last time I saw a medallion cab in Flatbush.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Giving Tuesday
Charles Osgood Event

Listen Live