NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The city has reached an agreement to keep horse carriages in Central Park.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and several carriage worker representatives released a joint statement addressing the agreement on Sunday night.
“We are pleased to have reached an agreement in concept on the future of New York’s horse carriage industry. We look forward to working together on the final details of this legislation and getting this passed,” the statement said.
According to city officials, the plan would only allow carriage horses to travel around the grounds of Central Park, with a new stable to be built on premises to limit carriage horse travel on city streets. The number of licensed carriage horses would drop to accommodate the size of the new stable, reducing the number of horses from 180 to 110 by the end of the year.
The new plan also allows carriage drivers to charge more for rides during the winter holiday season and on Valentine’s Day.
The issue of horses in Central Park has been a long, ongoing debate between the de Blasio administration, the horse carriage industry and animal activists.
Animal rights advocates have been fighting to get the carriages banned entirely and de Blasio had pledged to end the popular carriage rides in favor of electric old-time style cars that would still appeal to tourists.