Bloomberg Touts Boro Cabs Threatened by de Blasio’s Election

Mayor Bloomberg and one of his green apple cabs.

Mayor Bloomberg and one of his green apple cabs.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg used his first post-election press conference to tout one of his administration’s most vulnerable initiatives: the green apple “boro taxi” program.

Mr. Bloomberg today announced that more than 1,000 of the cabs are now on the streets, cruising for hails in the outer boroughs and northern Manhattan, where yellow cabs rarely roam.

“There’s just no evidence this isn’t a win, win, win,” an upbeat Mr. Bloomberg told reporters at the Cine Magic Riverfront Studios in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where he was joined by advocates and Taxi and Limousine Commission personnel.

“It’s a great day for New York, it really is. Just think about it: Four and a half of the five boroughs didn’t have taxi service! And we stood for that! We didn’t do anything about it. Now we did something about it and everybody’s a beneficiary,” he said.

Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, who has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions from the yellow taxi industry, has refused to say specifically what he’ll do with the new cabs, but has voiced concerns about the cars disrupting existing livery and yellow cab service.

Still, Mr. Bloomberg–who, uncharacteristically, has had nothing but kind words for Mr. de Blasio since his election–professed ignorance when pressed on whether the cabs will be curbed come January.

“I have no idea. I can only tell you what we’ve done. This has been a phenomenally successful program. It took a lot to get here,” he said, touting his administration’s decision to tackle a number of long-term problems, including outdated bus shelters and taxi rules.

“You go right down the list. A lot of these things, problems have been around for this city for decades … we have an obligation to take ’em on. We have an obligation to work for the next 49 days as hard as we can. You can rest assured I will do that. And then what happens afterwards, you should address those questions to Bill de Blasio,” he said.

One reporter asked about Mr. de Blasio’s concerns that the new cabs will undermining the existing industries that, he attests, already function well.

“It’s not important what I think. TAXI is the ticker symbol. Go and look it up,” he said, referring to the rising stock price of Medallion Financial Corp., which now sits at 16.30–up from about 11 points a year ago. “The market tells you what’s really happening. I’ve no idea what Bill’s gonna want to do. You have to address those questions to him. I can tell you what I have done. And to date … it’s been phenomenally successful.”

He ended his press conference insisting that he is optimistic about the future, even if he’s clashed with Mr. de Blasio repeatedly in the past.

“I’m gonna live here the rest of my life. I’m going to vote with my feet and stay here,” he said, adding that he is doing “anything I can” to help Mr. de Blasio’s future administration succeed.

Additional reporting by Colin Campbell.

Bloomberg Touts Boro Cabs Threatened by de Blasio’s Election