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Drivers Rally Outside Cuomo’s Office Calling On Gov. To Sign Livery Cab Street Hail Bill

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Livery Cab (credit: Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (1010 WINS/AP) – Hundreds of livery drivers rallied outside of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office Wednesday demanding the governor sign into law the bill making it legal for them to pick up street hails.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reports

The bill would end the exclusive right of the city’s 13,000 yellow medallion cabs to pick up street hails, allowing livery drivers to pick up street hails in northern Manhattan and the outer boroughs.

Assemblyman Guillermo Linares said signing the bill is a must.

“We will continue to fight until we see this industry treated with dignity because it is ours,” said Linares.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is urging Cuomo to sign the bill, saying it would bring in much-needed cash to the city.

“The tax revenues from selling more medallions would be something like a billion dollars into the city’s budget — that will pay for an awful lot of teachers and cops and firefighters,” Bloomberg said.

Last week, Cuomo said support for the bill “appears to be dissipating” and the more times goes on, the more concerns are raised, according to the governor.

But many cab drivers disagree. Back in July, about 100 cabbies gathered at City Hall Park protesting the plan.

“I don’t think it’s a good idea,” said one cab driver.

The city has more than 13,000 yellow taxis. According to GPS data collected by the taxi commission, 97 percent of their pickups are in central Manhattan and at the city’s two airports. But 80 percent of the city’s population lives outside Manhattan.

Should livery cab drivers be allowed to pick up passengers in the outer boroughs? Sound off in our comments section below…

(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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)

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