TLC Ponders Allowing Livery Cab Hails in Brooklyn

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.

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  • Allan Fromberg

    Hello from the Taxi and Limousine Commission! Regarding the Five Borough Taxi plan mentioned in the above article, the TLC is encouraging people to participate in a truly brief survey at to help us craft the plan in a way that really reflects the needs of riders through the city!

    Again, that’s — thanks!!

  • Mickey

    Quite often I hail a cab on the corner of Clark Street & Cadman Plaza West. Before I get a yellow cab at least two or three livery cars usually slow down and beep at me. I don’t take them because they try to charge double what a metered cab costs to go downtown, but they eventually pick someone else up. I don’t know the logic behind making what they’re doing illegal but I don’t see any harm in legitimizing it as long as the passenger knows the fare up front.

  • EHinBH

    Let’s please not attract more livery cabs to The Heights. As it is, the cars from Heights Taxi on Henry clog the street and take up many of the parking spaces. They also sit and wait up Orange Street. Wish there lease would expire forever…

  • Claude Scales

    EHinBH: I think a likely result of the TLC proposal would be to reduce the number of idling livery vehicles. Those whose owners choose to equip with meters will be out cruising for fares instead of parked waiting for instructions from the dispatcher. The downside, of course, is that this may dry up or at least shrink the market for radio dispatched cars to go to airports, etc.

  • EHinBH

    @Claude Scales — Thanks for the clarification. I’ll have to reverse my position…

  • Eddy de Lectron

    Wow a position reversal, I don’t think I’ve ever seen that happen on this blog before…

  • AB

    There are more than enough Yellow taxis in this section of town. So, why do we need any other vehicles. A taxi stand should be established for these Yellow Medallion taxis