Reporting Kathryn Brown
NEW YORK (CBS 2 / WCBS 880) – Woodside is a popular spot for people who need a cab, but yellow cabs rarely come through there. Instead, people say, it’s much easier and more common to hail a livery cab illegally, Kathryn Brown reports.
“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,” said Vincent Vinza of Middle Village.
Residents said the yellow medallion cabs that clog the streets in Manhattan rarely pick up fares once in the boroughs, making it frustrating to quickly get from one place to another.
“Especially if you dont know what you’re going to pay,” said Mari Aparo of Elmhurst.
Mayor Bloomberg on Wednesday was expected to propose allowing a new fleet of cars to start picking up the slack outside of Manhattan, letting licensed livery cab drivers pick up passengers who hail them on the street.
“As long as the car has a meter and has markings that allow the public to recognize it quickly as a legitimate car,” said Commissioner David Yassky of the Taxi and Limousine Commission.
The City said it wants to legitimize a market that’s now illicit and unsafe, but the idea has medallion taxi drivers furious.
“This gives a legal stamp of approval to this. What if they go to the airport?” said a member of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance.
The so-called “borough taxis” would not be allowed to pick up street hails in Manhattan but, yellow cab drivers say, what’s to stop them?
“Once they’re in Manhattan, what guarantee do we have that the street hails are not going to continue?” asked Bhairavi Desai of the Alliance.