If you have trouble catching a cab in midtown Manhattan today, it may be because a goodly number of them are up in Albany for a Capitol rally against Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan to allow livery drivers outer-borough pick-ups.
Although the plan has the support of the drivers’ primary union, the Taxi Workers Alliance, it is opposed by drivers who own taxi medallions or rent cabs from medallion owners, and who say they’ll lose money if livery cabs are able to do street hails.
The administration has proposed that livery drivers would be able to buy special medallions from the city to pick up passengers in the outer boroughs.
“This is a one-shot budget gimmick that won’t raise the money the Mayor is promising- but it will decimate the livelihoods of tens of thousands of yellow taxi drivers,” said David Pollock of the Coalition for Taxi Equality and Justice.
“The only way to raise the revenue necessary to avert the Mayor’s doomsday budget is by taking street hail permits out of the equation and just auctioning medallions. Auctioning outer-borough medallions would raise even more money—money that could keep from laying off teachers, closing firehouses, and shuttering day care centers.”