Tag Archives: Livery

New apple green taxis unveiled by mayor


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the mayor's office

The new color for the fleet of liveries that can pick up street hails has been unveiled and is fitting for a city called the “Big Apple.”

Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the new color — apple green — with Taxi and Limousine Commission Chairman and Commissioner David S. Yassky at City Hall plaza on Sunday, April 29.

“Apple Green is very fitting for the new boro taxis,” said Yassky. “It’s pleasing to the eye, easy to see from a distance and blends well with the urban landscape. Just as the yellow taxi and the black car were once new services that became a trusted part of their users’ lives, the boro taxi, too, will take its long-awaited place as a part of the city’s comprehensive transportation network.”

The liveries will be able to legally pick up passengers in northern Manhattan and the outer boroughs. The fleet will also be equipped with roof lights and meters.

Six thousand licenses will begin being sold in June for $1,500, though there is a lawsuit in court asking for an injunction charging that the outer borough street hail plan violates the rights of yellow taxi medallion owners and drivers who paid for the exclusive right to pick up street hails in New York City.

 

Liu in FBI cross hairs


| jlane@queenscourier.com

The Round Up

Liu in FBI cross hairs

A federal probe into the campaign fund-raising operations for city Comptroller John Liu is now focused on the candidate himself, The Post has learned. “If campaign-finance rules are being circumvented or violated, there’s certainly a question whether the candidate himself knew about it or was a party to it,” one law-enforcement source said. “Did [Liu] know, and what was his role?” The FBI last month charged Liu moneyman Xing Wu “Oliver” Pan with steering $16,000 to Liu’s campaign through “straw donors” to hide massive contributions made on behalf of an out-of-state businessman who actually was an undercover federal agent. Read More: New York Post

New York bars ready for Jets-Giants game

It’s on! Football fans will pack bars around the city to watch the Jets-Giants battle at the Meadowlands tomorrow — and the watering holes are breaking out all the bells and whistles for the pre-Christmas crowds. Special drinks, free booze and lavish spreads will be at the ready for the throngs expected to take a break from their holiday shopping to root for their teams. Read More: New York Post

Santa brings early holiday joy to kids at St. Mary’s Hospital for Children 

Santa made an early visit to the kids at St. Mary’s Hospital for Children in Bayside last week with the help of New York’s Bravest. Firefighters from Engine 320/Ladder 167 used their rig to help Santa descend from the roof and visit with dozens of children who are battling serious illnesses. Continuing a tradition started over 15 years ago, the firefighters also brought a van-load of gifts that ranged from toys and dolls to cameras, radios and electronic games. Read More: Daily News

2011 Crime Statistics Show Slight Decrease In Murders

The New York City Police Department’s data show major crimes like murder, rape, and robbery are up by .2 percent through December 18 this year compared to the same period last year. There have been 519 murders this year through December 18, a drop of 5.6 percent compared to almost the same time period last year. The Bronx was the only borough to see a slight increase in murders. Read More: NY1

Police Seek Suspect Who Allegedly Robbed Queens Livery Driver

Police need help finding the person who they say robbed a livery cab driver Saturday morning near 93rd Avenue and 112th Street in Richmond Hill, Queens. They say the man seen in the above photographs placed the 59-year-old cab driver in a headlock, causing the victim to crash into a fence. Investigators say he then stole money from the victim’s bag and ran off. He is described as approximately 25-years-old, 5-feet-7-inches tall, and 170 pounds. Read More: NY1

Hail, yea! Pols reach deal to bring street hails to outer boroughs


| brennison@queenscourier.com

After months of negotiations and gridlock, the street hail bill finally received the green light.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Tuesday, December 20 an agreement had been reached to bring street hails to all five boroughs. The deal came just one day before the Wednesday, December 21 deadline.

The plan allows livery cabs to pick up street hails in upper Manhattan and the outer boroughs, while also authorizing the city to sell 2,000 new medallions. The medallions will raise close to $1 billion in revenue for the city, the mayor said. The Taxi & Limousine Commission will issue up to 18,000 new street hail licenses.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the driving force behind liveries receiving street hail rights, announced his intention to bring taxi service to residents outside Manhattan last January.

“It is a huge victory for all New Yorkers who have ever sought to hail a cab outside of Manhattan and in northern Manhattan,” the mayor said.

The bill, which passed the legislature in June, stalled over Cuomo’s concerns on the number of wheelchair accessible cabs in the plan.

“The bill as originally passed failed to address the needs of individuals with disabilities and did not provide any incentive for the livery industry to ensure disabled New Yorkers had full access to the taxicab system,” the governor said.

Negotiations held Tuesday assured Cuomo the number of wheelchair accessible vehicles would significantly increase.  Medallions will only be issued to accessible cars and at least 20 percent of liveries that receive street hail licenses must be fitted for wheelchairs.

“I think it’s fair to say the long quest for five borough taxi service will soon be a reality, and it will positively impact our city’s quality of life for decades to come,” the mayor said.

Taxi gab: Governor in talks to resolve cab issue


| smosco@queenscourier.com

It’s a hail storm in the city, as Mayor Michael Bloomberg urges Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign a bill into law that would grant taxi service to the outer boroughs.

The plan, which passed the legislature in June, would allow livery drivers to pick up passengers in northern Manhattan, as well as the other four boroughs, in areas that see little to no taxi service. The bill called for the city to issue up to 30,000 three-year, $1,500 permits to livery car drivers. It also called for the auction of 1,500 regular taxi medallions.

“It also will generate a billion dollars of revenue for the city at a time when we have $5 billion deficits we’re trying to close,” the mayor said during a WCBS radio address on December 8. “A billion would make a very big difference.”

Cuomo said that talks have not resolved the problems he sees in the legislation – problems like the percentage of livery and new medallion taxis that should be accessible to the disabled and whether livery cabs can pick up at airports. The meter is running out and if the governor does not sign the bill into law by December 21, talks would not resume until January or February.

“There’s a myriad of issues and they’re all significant,” the governor said in a statement. “I said from day one if we don’t have a resolution of these issues, I’m going to veto the bill.”

The governor called for a summit of the stakeholders involved in the taxi legislation negotiations in order to resolve the outstanding issues. The summit was held on Wednesday, December 14, and the results of the meeting were not available as of press time.

“As we have said all along, we are working very hard to reach consensus with the stakeholders in order to address taxi access issues in the five boroughs,” said a spokesperson for the governor. “The issues are not primarily governmental ones among the governor, the state legislature and the city. There are, however, remaining issues among the various stakeholders, business and advocacy groups whose interests must be reconciled.”

It’s cabbie VS cabbie on hail bill


| brennison@queenscourier.com

yellow cab

Opposing factions of cab drivers are trying to make their case before the new street hail legislation reaches Governor Andrew Cuomo’s desk.

The city plans on issuing 30,000 new street hail permits that will allow liveries to pick up passengers in upper Manhattan and the outer boroughs if the measure passes.

Members of the Livery Base Owners recently gathered on the steps of City Hall to announce the collection of 10,000 signatures urging the governor to sign the bill. Both the State Assembly and Senate have passed the legislation.

“Today’s announcement of the first 10,000 signatures collected by livery drivers and base owners stressed the importance of this historic legislation to their livelihoods and to our communities,” stated Pedro Heredia, president of Livery Base Owners, Inc.

Heredia said he hoped to reach 100,000 signatures.

“Every day we speak with our passengers about this new law that will allow us to legally do what we have been doing for over 40 years,” said Fernando Garcia, New York Association of Independent Taxi Drivers president. He called on passengers to show their support by calling the governor to encourage him to sign the bill.

While one side requests the governor to sign the bill, representatives from five taxi and livery organizations are trying to prevent the bill’s passage.

The groups, which encompass 70 percent of livery drivers and 95 percent of yellow taxis, said the bill would put many drivers out of business.

Medallions can cost upwards of $600,000 on the open market. Under the new plan the city would sell an additional 1,500 medallions.

“The permits Mayor Bloomberg is proposing would deprive working-class, mostly immigrant, drivers of the opportunity to own an asset with re-sale value,” said David Pollack, president of the Committee for Taxi Safety. “And without that valuable asset at stake, combined with a glutted market driving down drivers’ earnings, it’s easy to see how quality service standards would spiral.”

Pollack said the medallions could lose up to 25 percent of their value if the plan passes.

“We’re counting on Governor Cuomo to step in and make sure justice is done,” said taxi driver Virginia Cedeno.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said that medallion owners’ investment would be protected, since yellow cabs will still have the exclusive rights in central Manhattan and the airports, which account for 97.5 percent of hails.