NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — There was no deal struck Friday following the so-called “taxi summit” regarding livery driver street hails.
Participants in the 2-hour meeting said a deal got close, but failed to produce an agreement to allow livery drivers to legally pick up street hails.
1010 WINS’ Al Jones Reports On The Meeting
Fernando Mateo, President of the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers, said the idea of street hail permits really isn’t good enough.
“We want to make sure drivers have the opportunity to buy into a medallion system, not throw their money away buying a permit that’s useless,” he told reporters, including 1010 WINS’ Al Jones.
Medallion owners also fear street hails would devalue the metal disc, a couple of which recently sold for $1 million each.
Bhairavi Desai, executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, said the issue comes down to driver income.
“Because at the end of the day, we’re the people on the streets and if we can’t survive, then there’s no one to serve the riding public,” she said.
Allowing livery cabs to pick up street hails is something that Mayor Michael Bloomberg would like to allow legally north of 96th Street and in the outer boroughs.
However, it’s the idea of buying permits and requiring meters that has some livery drivers angry.
“The mayor’s proposal makes me understand how the poor stays poor and the rich stays rich,” one driver said.
Bloomberg’s plan calls for the sale of about 30,000 permits for livery cabs to pick up street hails. His plan also includes the sale of about 1,000 new yellow cab medallions
Desai said the mayor’s plan would only work with safeguards to guarantee driver income.
“Through a permit system and with real enforcement is what will safeguard driver’s incomes,” she said.
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