City Shelves a Plan to Legalize Hailing Livery Cabs
(New York Times) — An ambitious attempt by the Bloomberg administration to legalize hailing livery cabs on streets outside of Manhattan has been shelved after criticism from the taxi industry and lukewarm support from key lawmakers. Instead, the city is weighing a proposal to create a class of yellow cabs that would be prohibited from picking up passengers in most of Manhattan, the taxicabs’ traditional territory, but would be able to do so in other parts of the city, according to three people familiar with the discussions. Under the plan, which is being made final, new medallions would be issued for the restricted cabs. The medallions would be sold for a small fee, or, in one version of the plan, at no cost. Regular medallions, which bestow the right to pick up passengers on any city street, are typically sold at auction and can be worth nearly $1 million. Officials say the revised proposal would achieve their goal of providing better regulated, more equitable taxi service to the wide section of New York City that is perpetually underserved by yellow cabs, which congregate in denser parts of Manhattan where they are more likely to find fares.