Livery cars are usually black, but the legal ones will be painted a new, distinctive color so riders know they’re legit. The cars will be outfitted with GPS, credit-card readers and meters — just like yellow cabs.
You might be thrilled by the idea, but yellow-taxicab drivers are seeing red over Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal to allow livery cars to pick up people off the streets in the outer boroughs.
“Whether you’re standing on 42nd Street in Manhattan or 42nd Street in Sunnyside, Queens, you ought to be able to hail a cab,” said Bloomberg during his State of City address yesterday.
Picking up passengers off the streets is something many livery drivers already do, illegally — which means the city would be playing into the hands of lawbreakers, critics say.
“The city is basically giving in to the illegal model,” said Metropolitan Taxicab Board of Trade spokesman Michael Woloz. And don’t expect the livery cars to stay in Brooklyn or Queens, he added.
“They may pick up a fare in Queens, go into Manhattan and stay in Manhattan,” said Woloz. “They are going to abandon the boroughs.”
Woloz also wants to know why yellow-cab drivers should bother to fork out a small fortune to buy a medallion from the city, which allows them to pick up street hails and costs up to $650,000, if livery car drivers don’t have to.
“It’s a slap in the face to anyone who invested in the medallion,” he said.