Tag Archives: Taxi

Taxi driver dies in Richmond Hill accident


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

A Kew Gardens man was killed Friday afternoon after crashing his yellow taxi into two parked cars, police said.

Ved Wadhwa, 56, was driving down 118th Street near 95th Avenue about 3:40 p.m. when he veered to the left striking a parked vehicle, and then to the right, into another parked vehicle, according to the NYPD.

He was taken to Jamaica Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

There were no passengers in the taxi at the time of the accident, police said.

There investigation is ongoing.

 

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Three men arrested for counterfeit auto parts after FBI raids in Queens, New Jersey


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Three men were arrested Tuesday on charges of selling counterfeit automotive parts to repair shops, after federal agents raided several locations including a warehouse in Astoria, said the FBI.

The parts were made to appear as though they were from official automotive companies and sold to repair shops including those that service yellow city taxis.

In a statement obtained by Fox New York, the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers said that its “instructing bases, fleets, drivers, auto mechanic shops to recall any and all repairs or parts that were purchased from R&Y auto parts in Astoria because they might be counterfeit.”

 

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Taxi fares to increase this fall


| brennison@queenscourier.com

File photo

Passengers will be dishing out more green in yellow taxis come September.

The Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) today approved rate hikes in city cabs by a 6-2 vote with one abstention.

It is the first increase in six years.

A ride will cost passengers approximately 17 percent more after the increase, the TLC estimates.

Initial fares of $2.50 will remain the same, but each click of the meter will jump from 40 cent to 50 cents.

The fixed price between JFK Airport and Manhattan will also climb $7 to $52.

The extra cash will go to the drivers to cover health care and disability.

 

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.

 

Top Headlines From Around the Web


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

TLC Holds Final Vote On Plan Allowing Livery Cab Hails

The city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission is set to vote today on the five-borough taxi plan which, if passed, would allow livery cabs to pick up street hails in Upper Manhattan and the other four boroughs. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill in December allowing the city to issue up to 18,000 permits for livery cabs that can pick up street hails. Now the TLC will hold a hearing and vote on new rules meant to cover livery hail cabs, traditional livery cars and yellow taxis. Read More: NY1

 

Report: City Steps Up Enforcement Of Parks Smoking Ban

After mostly looking the other way, city parks officers have been stepping up enforcement of the smoking ban in city parks. According to the Wall Street Journal, officers have handed out 108 summonses so far this year for smoking at parks, beaches and pedestrian plazas. That’s compared to just 84 tickets that were issued in the first eight months of the ban. Violators face a $50 fine. The ban was originally billed as a self-enforcing law. Read More: NY1

 

FBI agents search Manhattan apartment for remains of Etan Patz

A team of investigators was tearing up an empty SoHo basement Thursday morning in a hunt for the remains of long-missing 6-year-old Etan Patz. The joint FBI/NYPD team, which began searching around 8:30 a.m., was reinvestigating the cold case that has captivated the nation for the last 33 years, said NYPD spokesman Paul Browne. “Information that was known at the time is being re-examined,” Browne said. “It does involve a suspect. They’re looking to see if they find any remains.” Read More: Daily News
Hollis community leaders aim to take back abandoned buildings

Next to the scores of children enjoying recess at Renaissance Middle School’s playground is a brick wasteland that stretches for two blocks in Hollis. In most of the dilapidated buildings — on one side of Hollis Ave. between 202nd St. and 204th St. — the windows are boarded up, shattered or cracked. Some have crumbling front steps. Others have walls cracked to their foundation. Weeds have taken over lawns and sidewalks, and trash is strewn in the back yards. If it looks desolate and deserted, that’s because they’ve been abandoned for 16 years, said community leaders, who have tried in vain to buy the buildings from the landlord, Rita Stark. Read More: Daily News
Secret Service pre-planned party at Colombian Hotel

Secret Service agents did their own sexy advance work — booking a hotel party space for prostitutes in Colombia before hitting the town to scout local pros, according to a new report.President Obama’s men made reservations for a party room, big enough to hold 30 people, at at the Hotel Caribe in Cartagena, and then hit a local brothel, ABC News reported today. The boom-boom room bombshell shows that disgraced agents were getting the lay of the land, in advance to long night of fun. Read More: New York Post

Parents of young girls sexually assaulted by Yeshiva tutor lash out at perv

The parents of two young girls who were sexually assaulted by their religious tutor, lashed out this morning at the “wolf in sheep’s clothing” they allowed in their homes as a judge tossed the pervert in jail. Yeshiva student Hillel Selznick, 25, of Flushing, admitted to Queens Supreme Court Justice Richard Buchter that he inappropriately touched the two fourth graders over the course of a year during private religious lessons inside their Kew Gardens Hills homes. Read More: New York Post

Court allows outer borough taxi plan to roll on


| brennison@queenscourier.com

In a decision the city “hailed” as a victory, a federal court recently ruled to allow a controversial taxi reform plan to roll on.

The ruling from the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted a stay after a December decision found the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission’s (TLC) fleet discriminated against people with disabilities, forcing the city to put its outer borough taxi plan on hold.

Advocates for the disabled filed a complaint in January 2011 saying that the new plan was not in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The complaint against the TLC stated that, “pervasive and ongoing discrimination” against “residents of and visitors to New York City with mobility disabilities who need and want to use New York City medallion taxis.”

Judge George B. Daniels ordered a “comprehensive plan to provide meaningful access to taxicab service for disabled wheelchair bound passengers” and until the plan was approved by the court all new taxi medallions sold or new street-hail livery licenses or permits issued by the TLC must be for wheelchair accessible vehicles.

This decision was stayed on Thursday, March 22, pending an appeal which is set to begin on April 19.

“The stay allows us to continue our work to bring quality taxi service to the four boroughs outside of Manhattan and northern Manhattan, and to persons with disabilities,” said TLC Commissioner David Yassky. “The administration is making historic progress in these areas, and we look forward to building on it.”

The lower court’s order would have prevented implementation of a plan that authorizes the sale of 2,000 medallions for wheelchair accessible taxicabs and establishes a street hail program for liveries in the outer boroughs, 20 percent of which would be wheelchair accessible, the TLC said. The city worked closely with the state to pass new legislation establishing these programs, and is developing a comprehensive plan to provide access to taxicabs for people who use wheelchairs, the agency added.

“We are pleased that the court issued a stay, thus allowing the city to move forward with plans to put more wheelchair accessible taxicabs on the road,” said Michael A. Cardozo, Corporation Counsel.

Slay-suicide horror in Maspeth


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Slay-suicide horror in Maspeth

A woman died yesterday after her boyfriend slashed her throat in their Maspeth apartment, stabbed her stepson, then jumped in front of an LIRR train, authorities said. Maureen Biermann, 43, died at Wyckoff Heights Hospital. Her attacker, James Peck, 33, died on the tracks. Biermann’s stepson, 22, was in stable condition. Read More: Daily News

No deals for cop ‘killers

Brooklyn’s top prosecutor yesterday said he won’t even think about cutting plea deals with the five thugs accused of murdering cop Peter Figoski. “There will be a trial,” District Attorney Charles Hynes vowed. “We want the public to understand that the murder of a police officer is as serious as any crime we’ve ever had. In cases like this, there’s no indication of a plea deal — ever.” Read More: New York Post

Queens pair sentenced in Virginia for bank fraud

Two New York residents have been sentenced in Virginia for their roles in a scheme to fraudulently tap into home equity lines of credit and credit card accounts. U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride says 41-year old Joan Marsh of Queens was sentenced Monday to eight years in prison. Thirty-year-old Ayodele Adewale Onasanya of Queens was sentenced to seven years and three months in prison. A federal jury convicted Marsh in September on a dozen conspiracy, bank fraud and money laundering counts. Onasanya pleaded guilty in September to conspiracy to commit bank fraud.  Read More: Wall Street Journal

A mission born from a cause

Fifteen-year-old Carly Rose Nieves is turning ordinary people into heroes, one pint of blood at a time. For the second year in a row, the Middle Village teen — and her team of family members and friends — organized a blood drive and bone marrow registry at Christ the King (CTK) Regional High School. The December 17 event brought in 75 pints of blood and 10 new bone marrow donors for the New York Blood Center. Read More: Queens Courier

After Resigning, Tearful Senator Pleads Guilty to Accepting Bribes

In the annals of municipal corruption in New York City, the themes of graft, greed and betrayal have been familiar running mates from one century to the next, accompanying the fall of the Tammany boss William Tweed in the 1870s, the resignation of the popular mayor James J. Walker in 1932, and the bribes, appetites and suicide of Donald R. Manes, a former Queens borough president, in 1986. But the denouement of the political career of State Senator Carl Kruger, who pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges on Tuesday, goes beyond that story line, encompassing tales of romance and perhaps even sacrifice, and laying bare one of the more bizarre domestic tableaux — even by New York standards — ever uncovered by F.B.I. wiretaps. Read More: New York Times

Aqueduct racino construction workers exposed to hazards including lead, feds say

Construction workers toiled virtually around the clock to get Queens’ glitzy gaming hub operational, but federal officials are now charging that contractors cut corners when it came to safety. Five companies skirted regulations during construction of the Aqueduct racino this summer and exposed employees to hazardous conditions, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Monday. Read More: Daily News

Five Remaining MLB Free Agents Who Can Help the New York Mets: Fan’s Take

The New York Mets need all the help they can get. Unfortunately, they aren’t willing to pay much to get it. All indications are that the financially-challenged Mets will stay away from free agent solutions for 2012 as they look to cut payroll. However, these five overlooked free agents may come at a discount, tempting Mets general manager Sandy Alderson to give them a call. It may be worth it. Read More: Yahoo Sports

Deal Struck to Broaden Taxi Service in the City

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo struck a deal with the Bloomberg administration on Tuesday that would expand taxi service in New York by allowing livery cabs to be hailed on the street in parts of the city traditionally underserved by yellow cabs. The agreement, which Cuomo is poised to sign into law on Wednesday and which ends months of fractious negotiations, would also create 2,000 more wheelchair-accessible yellow cabs. The auction of those medallions is expected to raise at least $1 billion for the city. Read More: New York Times

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.