State Assembly Passes Livery Cab Street Hail Plan
By Ben Fractenberg
MANHATTAN — The State Assembly has passed Mayor Bloomberg’s plan to allow street hails for livery cars in Northern Manhattan and the outer boroughs, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.
The vote comes as Albany legislators have been extended to extra session time after Gov. Andrew Cuomo postponed their Summer vacation in hopes of bringing the rent regulation and gay marriage bills to a vote.
It also follows Monday's announcement that the taxi workers union, the mayor’s office and the Taxi and Limousine Commission reached a deal to have drivers support the bill in exchange for concessions including the creation of an “anti-illegal street hails" enforcement unit.
But not all drivers are happy with the plan.
Dozens of yellow cabs lined the streets around the capitol Tuesday after driving from New York City to Albany to protest the bill.
Several drivers expressed their concerns about the bill at a Monday protest, in which they said the increased competition could cut down their earnings significantly.
The assembly passed the bill 110-28. The bill still needs to go through the state Senate, where senators like Brooklyn’s Martin Golden told protesters they are trying to work out some kind of compromise with the mayor.
The bill allows up to 30,000 hail permits to for-hire vehicles, which would cost $1,500 and be valid for three years.