Friday, August 16, 2013
HAIL THE STREET HAIL
The first "street hail livery cars" hit the road a few days ago. At long last, a pre-arranged pick-up isn't a legal requirement to get a ride from a car service/livery car driver in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island and north of E. 96th Street and W. 110th Street in Manhattan.
Car service/livery car drivers will still be breaking a law if they pick up passengers who are flagging them down in Manhattan south of E. 96th Street and W. 110th Street and at LaGuardia and Kennedy airports. Those are considered prime areas for yellow cabs.
The yellows will, as before, be allowed to make on-street pick-ups anywhere.
The five-borough taxi hail plan was devised to help residents and visitors travel to and from locations that yellow cab drivers often choose not to go to. The practice dates back to the 1970s, a time when yellow cab drivers became crime victims all too often. Livery and gypsy cab drivers became victims too, in even greater numbers.
At that time, Brooklyn's Black Pearl Car Service distinguished livery cars from yellow cabs by adopting the motto "We're not yellow, we go anywhere."
Over the next three years, New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) will issue 6,000 street hail livery permits (also known as boro taxi licenses) per year. Twenty percent of livery cars will be required to be wheelchair-accessible.
The TLC is also going to sell 2,000 new medallions for wheelchair-accessible yellow cabs.
The electronic hailing (e-hail) pilot program has gone into effect--yellow cabs can legally be hailed via smartphone applications like Uber and Hailo.