I have a very bad news for you today. I was just reading today’s The New York Times and found this report by Mr. Michael M. Grynbaum. I am publishing the report from The New York Times. My explanations will be in italic.
Plan for 6,000 Yellow Cabs Only Outside Manhattan
By Michal M. Grynbaum
Eight million New Yorkers. Thirteen thousand yellow cabs. It is a ratio that can flummox, particularly during a rainstorm at rush hour.
That may be right but only for few moments. I understand that it is hard to get a cab during the rush hour but other times we have to look for passengers and it is hard to find a passenger all the other times.
A new proposal by the city, however, promises relief: more than 1,500 additional yellow cabs could soon be plying the streets, bringing the total taxi fleet to around 15,000, its biggest size since the Great Depression.
And in what would amount to a radical shift in the makeup of the century-old taxi industry, the city also wants to create a parallel class of cabs only allowed to make pickups outside Manhattan. And the city wants to create a lot of them: 6,000, to be exact.
“That’s no experiment — that’s a whole new fleet of taxis,” one well-placed source said.
The plan, still being shopped to state and city legislators, remains tentative and subject to the ever-present whims that can accompany a protracted negotiation involving powerful industry leaders and politicians.
But this proposal has support from the taxi industry’s most influential lobbying group, and taxi officials say the political response has been promising.
The plan represents the latest version of the Bloomberg administration’s attempt to provide better taxi service for New Yorkers living outside Manhattan, the traditional territory of the yellow cab. An initial attempt, to simply allow existing livery cabs to pick up street hails, was met with fierce opposition from industry groups and politicians alike.
The new class of yellow cab — which may or may not remain painted yellow, depending on how negotiations turn out — would be restricted to picking up only street hails. Prearranged rides, the bailiwick of today’s livery-cab industry, would not be allowed.
The State Legislature and City Council would both have to approve the sale of any new medallions.
At Off the Rails, we are not allowed to use the phrase “outer borough,” given its suggestion of Manhattan-centric-ness. But taxi officials have been referring to the new type of cab as a “borough taxi,” to distinguish it from its traditional counterpart.
To complicate this language, it remains unclear whether the “borough taxis” would also be allowed to pick up street hails in parts of northern Manhattan, where residents often depend on cruising Town Cars for rides. The city is consulting with elected officials in the neighborhoods above 96th Street to determine those boundaries.
Taxis that would operate outside Manhattan would not be allowed to pick up passengers in Manhattan, even if a fare ends up taking them into Manhattan.
Some taxi industry figures privately worry whether the taxi market outside Manhattan can sustain 6,000 new cabs. These people, none of whom would speak on the record for fear of upending the current negotiations, say it is hard to know the true sense of demand in those markets for street hails, particularly in less-dense residential areas.
Some of the plan’s supporters, however, wonder if 6,000 new cabs would even be enough.
Data from GPS machines installed in the cabs would allow the city to track, on a weekly or even daily basis, whether the cars are frequently picking up fares.
Traditional livery drivers would face an enormous influx of competition from the new types of yellow cabs. But the city expects that many livery drivers will end up converting their current cars into the new type of yellow cab by adding a meter, a roof light and a fare chart.
Each of the 1,500 new traditional medallions sold by the city would be accompanied by a set number of medallions to be used for cabs restricted to pickups outside Manhattan.
Taxi medallions are sold through an auction. In the past, some have been sold for nearly $1 million.
“We think it’s a plan that gets us the service the mayor called for, and we are working actively and intensively with legislators to see if that plan can make it through the process,” said David S. Yassky, chairman of the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission.