Under consideration by the City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission, headed by Brooklyn Heights resident David Yassky, is allowing livery cabs with taxi meters installed to respond to street hails in the “outer boroughs” (which, yes, includes Brooklyn) while continuing to prohibit this in Manhattan.
The Brooklyn Paper: Brooklynites are cheering a revolutionary city initiative to put meters inside livery cabs — and allow them to make on-street pick-ups in the outer boroughs.
Presently, it is illegal for anything but a yellow medallion-bearing cab to make curbside pick-ups within the city, but the new law would extend that right to certain car service vehicles — legalizing a practice that occurs regularly in Brooklyn.
A Brooklyn Paper reporter asked several livery drivers what they would charge for a ride from Atlantic Terminal to DUMBO, and was given quotes ranging from $10 to $15. According to the Paper, the TLC proposal would eliminate this problem by having meters installed in the liveries.
Unsurprisingly, the proposal has drawn a negative reaction from the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, which represents yellow cab drivers. It would create competition for those drivers in the outer boroughs, both for fares within those boroughs and for trips from there to Manhattan. However, it would not affect their exclusive right (though sometimes flouted, as anyone with a hand out on a Manhattan street who has been approached by a livery driver knows) to pick up fares in Manhattan for trips either within Manhattan or to an outer borough destination. It could have the result of increasing the reluctance of yellow cab drivers in Manhattan to take trips to Brooklyn (if indeed this is a problem–some of our readers deny that it is) because the greater competition for return fares could lower their chances of getting one.