NEW YORK (CBSNeYork) — Drivers’ shift to the latest trends in hailing a ride has left yellow taxis sitting idle in New York City.
As CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported, the long row of taxis parked on the streets of Greenpoint, Brooklyn represents the woe that has hit the taxi industry – for everyone in the neighborhood.
“They’re taking all the parking here,” said Alex Mora of Greenpoint.
Edgar Rivera also said he could not find parking in the neighborhood, and “the reason why is all these yellow cabs are always taking all the spots.”
Gus Kodogiannis owns the company that manages the taxis for medallion owners. And he said he does not like the situation either.
“You think I want them parked?” said Kodogiannis, of McGuinness Management Corporation.
Each key on a hook at McGuinness represents a car that should be out making money. So what happened?
“All our drivers that left, they went to Uber,” Kodogiannis said.
The ride hail app Uber has, of course, gone from a handful of drivers to more than 160,000 nationwide in the space of two years.
After clashing with the company, the de Blasio administration is now studying its impact and how to address it.
At McGuinness Management, so many taxi drivers switched to Uber that more than 100 taxis have sat idle some nights.
Kodogiannis said some of the taxis parked in the neighborhood have not even been out on the street in eight months.
And something else is piling up inside the dispatch office too – millions of dollars’ worth of medallions. There is no reason to buy cars for them if the cars will only sit unused on the street as cabs.
“At least in here, I don’t need a parking space for it,” Kodogiannis said.
The company uses a mapping program to keep track of what is parked where, and when they need to be moved for street cleaning and other parking regulations.
“I need five hours a day to move cars so I don’t get tickets,” Kodogiannis said.
Kodogiannis hopes a new ride hail app for yellow taxis will help the industry, but for now, the lounge where drivers used to wait for a car is empty while dozens of cars wait for drivers.