Puerto Rico mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz
It can be tough getting a yellow cab to go from Manhattan to The Bronx– even for a mayor.
The Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico got booted from a yellow cab on Wednesday after the driver claimed he didn’t know how to get her from Greenwich Village to a hotel in The Bronx.
Carmen Yulin Cruz was with three coworkers and $3.50 into the ride when the taxi driver claimed he had no GPS or other way of locating The Opera House Hotel – even though she had provided the East 149th Street address.
“He kicked us out,” she told reporters after a press conference at City Hall on Thursday advocating for the release of controversial Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar Lopez Rivera. Continue reading
Four taxi medallion lenders filed a lawsuit against Mayor Bill de Blasio, the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman Wednesday, alleging they are letting Uber illegally pick up street-hail passengers.
The lenders—Melrose Credit Union, Montauk Credit Union, Progressive Credit Union and LOMTO Federal Credit Union—are seeking a preliminary injunction ordering the city to enforce the law that prohibits any vehicle other than a yellow taxi from responding to street hails.
“It is inconceivable that we have to ask the city to enforce the law, but we’ve done our part,” said Todd Higgins, an attorney for Melrose. “We’ve made numerous requests, to no avail. The crisis is now upon us; there simply is no more time. The city has left us no choice but to pursue legal action in the courts, and that is what we have done.”
The four lenders, which collectively hold almost $2.5 billion in medallion loans secured by more than 5,000 medallions, filed the lawsuit Wednesday in New York State Supreme Court in Queens. They claim that unless regulators properly enforce Title 19 of the New York City Administrative Code and the Hail Act of 2012, medallion values could collapse, as could the entire taxi industry. The city’s refusal to enforce the law has allowed Uber to expand rapidly in New York, poaching drivers and market share, they said.
Taxi king Gene Freidman — who controls 900 yellow-cab licenses — hatched an 11th-hour deal Tuesday with Citibank to prevent the seizure of his medallions.
Citibank sued Freidman in March to foreclose on 90 medallions to recoup $31 million in overdue debt.
On Tuesday, Justice Jeffrey Oing said the time had come for Freidman to pay up or face foreclosure.
“I’m inclined to sign the seizure order at this point. The fire is turned on,” Oing said. “You can’t say I have not given you a lot of time to work this out. That’s it.”
The two sides then bickered over how much the medallions are worth, as they’ve recently been losing value due to competition from apps like Uber.
An Uber driver in Manhattan, as seen from the back of a taxi. A proposal from the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission would bolster its regulation over the app market.
Read the Letter Here
From the stage of a Midtown Manhattan ballroom last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio indulged in “a little bit of positive bragging” about the success of start-ups in the city.
On Thursday, Mr. de Blasio is scheduled to be honored at a reception in California, hosted by several tech moguls, to raise money for a political group run by the mayor’s close allies.
But as Mr. de Blasio moves to court Silicon Valley, Internet titans including Facebook, Google and Twitter this week have issued a public rebuke of the de Blasio administration on an ostensibly obscure subject: municipal taxi policy.
At issue is a rule, proposed by the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission, aimed at bolstering its regulation over the fledgling app market that has helped reshape the taxi industry. Under the proposal, smartphone app operators “must apply for approval of a modification” for certain changes to any app used to arrange vehicle rides for hire.
Every taxi and livery car in New York City could soon have a panic button that riders could use to hail police, if a bill introduced in City Council Tuesday passes.
The proposed legislation would outfit all yellow, green and livery cabs with a distress button that passengers could use to alert the nearest police precinct if they’re being attacked or feel in danger. The bill is sponsored by City Council Transportation Committee Chairman Ydanis Rodriguez and Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo.
“With over 400,000 trips a day, keeping our taxi and for-hire passengers safe must be of the highest importance,” Rodriguez told the News. Continue reading
A New York taxi cab medallion mogul threw his son an epic bar mitzvah party this weekend complete with a private Nicki Minaj performance.
The lucky kid’s name is Matt Murstein.
Matt’s father is Andrew Murstein is the founder, president, and largest shareholder of Medallion Financial Corp. — a publicly traded company with a about $259 million market cap. Andrew Murstein is the co-owner of NASCAR team Richard Petty Motorsports and the majority owner of professional lacrosse team New York Lizards.
Matt is a big Nicki Minaj fan, sources said. Continue reading
The de Blasio administration is set to fork over more than $1 billion to resolve a handful of budget-busting court cases, according to internal government documents obtained exclusively by The Post.
Looming payouts include a $300 million to plaintiffs in a long-running civil-rights suit against the Department of Education, $80 million to Nissan if the city fails to roll out the “Taxi of Tomorrow,” and $20 million to victims of the NYPD’s infamous “Mafia Cops.”
The documents provide the most complete case-by-case accounting of potential legal hits against the city that has ever been revealed.