Even grandma is e-hailing.
Approximately 25% of taxi riders who arranged rides with smartphones in the Taxi and Limousine Commission’s e-hailing pilot were 65 years or older, according to the agency.
There were some concerns by TLC commissioners that older city residents who are less plugged-in than younger New Yorkers might be left at the curb – but that hasn’t been the case, agency analyst Taryn Yaeger said.
That finding was one of many in a report presented to the commission at its monthly meeting Thursday, during which Chairman David Yassky signaled officials will adopt rules making e-hailing a permanent option for cabbies and passengers.
“I personally am satisfied the results are encouraging enough, well more than enough, for us to declare this worth doing on an on-going basis,” Yassky said.
Loud flashes of yellow are all around you in this city — 46,000 taxi sedans, vans, and SUVs streaking across the streets of New York. Yet only about 170 of them are driven by women, a percentage even lower than the national average. In all my years of hopping into cabs here, and elsewhere, I never met a female driver until I shot this documentary. I needed to find them.
I went from one taxi garage to the next, the only woman in a sea of men, and the drivers would look at me like I was crazy. For weeks I had no luck. Then one evening, a good friend of mine hailed a cab — and there was Shonna Valeska behind the wheel. He told her about my project, wrote her phone number down on a record sleeve, and texted me right away.
In November 2010 I began filming Valeska, and Elena Tenchikova, to whom I’d been connected via the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission. They graciously brought me into their world — one of late nights, early mornings, and forgotten corners — and a year and a half later, I caught up with the women for an update.
Tenchikova recently graduated from Brooklyn College with a master’s degree in urban policy and administration. She put driving on hold for ten months as she completed a program at the NYC Civic Corps, an AmeriCorps initiative, through which she was placed in the NYC Housing Authority to work on its “green” agenda. She hopes to someday work in environmental sustainability, but until then she’s back behind the wheel, navigating a yellow cab through the streets of New York.
After driving for ten months, Valeska hung up her taxi license in February 2011 because of the exhausting and repetitive 12-hour shifts. She loved the customers, but wasn’t making enough money to support her photography studio and simply did not have enough time to pursue her passion for photo work. She continues to take photographs and most recently shot her fourth book cover for Ann Coulter. In the future, Valeska hopes to produce a documentary about the taxi-driving industry.
200 Wheelchair accessible taxi medallion auction at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center.
Watch the action live at http://bit.ly/HRzynx
A judge on Tuesday blocked New York City’s plan for a nearly uniform fleet of yellow taxis, dealing a potentially decisive blow to one of the Bloomberg administration’s signature transportation initiatives.
Justice Shlomo S. Hagler of State Supreme Court in Manhattan said the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission had exceeded its authority in devising a plan to require that nearly all yellow taxi operators purchase the same vehicle, a Nissan NV200 — the model chosen by the city as part of the Taxi of Tomorrow competition in 2011.
While the city’s Law Department pledged to appeal immediately, administration officials conceded that completing such a challenge before Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg leaves office could be difficult.
The mayor’s potential successors may be disinclined to carry on the fight. Bill de Blasio, the Democratic nominee, has opposed the Taxi of Tomorrow plan. A spokesman said he was studying the decision. A spokeswoman for Joseph J. Lhota, the Republican nominee, said on Tuesday that he hailed the ruling and would not continue any appeal.
In the Democratic primary campaign for mayor, Bill de Blasio’s refusal to retain Raymond W. Kelly as police commissioner was framed as a cornerstone of his candidacy. His thoughts on who might run the Taxi and Limousine Commission would appear less likely to affect vote tallies in November.
And yet, when Mr. de Blasio said on Thursday that he would immediately replace the current taxi commissioner, David S. Yassky, if elected, he convulsed an industry that has undergone widespread upheaval in recent years, inspiring a stern response from a coalition of cabbies and a fractious exchange on Twitter between a deputy mayor and a state assemblyman. (Late Thursday, a spokeswoman for Joseph J. Lhota, Mr. de Blasio’s Republican opponent, said that Mr. Lhota also would not keep Mr. Yassky.)
The episode began Thursday morning, when Mr. de Blasio, the Democratic nominee, was asked on WWRL about his vision for the city’s taxis. “I’d start by getting a new chairman for the Taxi and Limousine Commission,” he said, adding, “I want someone who will work with the drivers.” Mr. de Blasio has been a frequent critic of the city’s Taxi of Tomorrow plan for a nearly uniform fleet of yellow cabs and its bid to expand street-hail service outside Manhattan with green livery cabs. His campaign has received over $200,000 in contributions from members of the taxi and limousine industry, many of whom opposed the Bloomberg administration’s policies.
In a statement, Mr. Yassky — who, like many administration officials, is not expected to stay once Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg leaves office — said he had “great respect” for Mr. de Blasio.
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg with Carlos Ghosn, chairman of Renault Nissan Alliance, in 2012 in front of a Nissan NV200 taxi.
His green livery cabs finally patrol the streets outside Manhattan. His army of blue bicycles is well entrenched.
But in the dwindling months of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s tenure, his administration has been charged with a final, 11th-hour transportation heave: ensuring that its fleetwide Taxi of Tomorrow — with a spacious back seat, “low-annoyance” horn and a persistent habit of attracting lawsuits and political opposition — reaches the road.
Beginning Oct. 28, virtually every new non-hybrid taxi is required to be a Nissan NV200, the Taxi of Tomorrow chosen by New York City as part of a competition in 2011. The cabs are expected to be phased in over three to five years, until nearly all of the city’s roughly 13,000 yellow cabs are the same.
The deadline has set off feverish preparations from the vehicle’s proponents, hoping to hustle the cab into service, and fleet owners who say they dread its introduction.
Some fleets have planned to retire their cabs early, stockpile new ones that are not Nissan NV200s, and begin operating them before the deadline in a bid to forestall the Taxi of Tomorrow as long as possible — recalling a popular practice when the Crown Victoria was retired.