ALBANY, NY (WCBS 880/AP) – Gov. Andrew Cuomo says talks have failed to resolve legislation to allow livery cabs to legally pick up street hails in parts of New York City, but Mayor Michael Bloomberg is still hopeful that it will be resolved.
WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb With Mayor Bloomberg
A bill passed by the Legislature would grant livery cabs the right to pick up street hails in the underserved outer boroughs and northern Manhattan.
The franchise is held by the city’s 13,000 yellow medallion cabs, which have that exclusive right and have been reluctant to share it.
The governor says significant remaining issues include the percentage of livery and new medallion taxis that should be accessible to the disabled and whether livery cabs can pick up at airports.
He says talks Wednesday failed to resolve the issues and without an agreement, he will veto the bill and they can try again early next year.
Meanwhile, in an extensive interview with WCBS 880 on Thursday morning, Bloomberg said, “The governor has assured me a number of times that is going to get passed.”
Bloomberg said the plan was important for two reasons.
In the short-term, he said, “It would generate $1 billion to help us close out budget gap this coming year and the year after, and without that, we’d have a much bigger problem than we would with that.”
In the long-term, he said, “Four and a half boroughs in this city basically don’t have taxi service. You can’t hail a cab in Staten Island, in Brooklyn, in Queens, in the Bronx, and in Manhattan north of 96th Street. When you get into a cab south of 96th Street in Manhattan and you say I want to go to any of those other places, something like a quarter or a third of the drivers say ‘I’m not going.’.”
Bloomberg added said that all of the new cabs would be handicap accessible.
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