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Taxi Commission Approves Livery ‘Street Hail’ Plan

A packed house in Brooklyn for a hearing on proposed livery cab street hail service (credit: Rich Lamb/ WCBS 880)

A packed house in Brooklyn for a hearing on proposed livery cab street hail service (credit: Rich Lamb/ WCBS 880)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Taxi and Limousine Commission has approved a measure that will bring livery cab hail service for the first time to New York City.

The measure passed by a 7-2 vote on Thursday.

Now, 18,000 livery drivers will be able to buy permits allowing them to pick up fares in upper Manhattan and the outer boroughs. The permits are expected to  go on sale in June and service could be available throughout the city by the end of that month.

1010 WINS’ Al Jones Speaks With Cabbies And Livery Drivers

The vote came after yellow cab medallion owners expressed outrage Thursday at a hearing in Downtown Brooklyn.

1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reports

Advocates said it benefits New Yorkers in areas where taxis are hard to find.

“We are solving a problem that has been decades in the making,” TLC Commissioner David Yassky said.

Some call the rules unfair for all yellow cab drivers.

“There are dozens of ways to improve street hail service outside of the central business district, the way to do it is not by taking the livelihoods of people who have invested in the city and destroying it,” one man said.

Equipped livery cab service will be able to pick up street hails in Manhattan on the west side north of 110th street and on the east side 96th street as well the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island.

Yellow cabs can still pick and drop off from anywhere in the city.

Under the new law livery cabs will undergo a makeover getting roof lights, meters, a common color, and special markings that would identify them.

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reports

Peter Zarba tells CBS 2’s Ann Mercogliano that he supports the measure because it will add thousands of wheelchair accessible vehicles to the streets.

“The disabled community has not been reasonably accommodated to date,” Zarba said.

Metropolitan Taxicab Board of Trade, a group of yellow cab drivers, filed a lawsuit Wednesday over the plan.

Do you support the proposal? Let us know below…