But in some lines of livery cars, the very drivers the expansion aims to help expressed anger and worry. The drivers said that they eked out a meager living as it was, in neighborhoods with spotty demand and few big tippers, and that converting to a green taxi would cost them thousands of dollars they do not have and subject them to more rules.
The city’s expansion of street-hail service was upheld recently by a state appellate court over protests from the yellow-taxi industry and other critics, including Randy M. Mastro, a lawyer and former deputy mayor who warned that it would have a “profoundly destabilizing effect” on the city’s for-hire industry. Currently, there are 13,237 yellow cabs and more than 24,800 registered livery cabs, according to city records.
The city has been asked to issue medallions for the green taxis instead of permits so that drivers would have a direct stake in complying with rules while also being able to earn equity on their investment.
Aneudi Almonte, a radio service dispatcher, said that many of his drivers remained skeptical. He said the city should have legalized street-hail pickups by livery cabs rather than created what he saw as a second-class tier of taxis.
“I don’t like it at all,” he said. “Basically, you’re trying to say yellow cabs are for people with money and green cabs are for minorities. You’re creating two brackets, and that’s not right.”
[NY Times Report]