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Horse Carriage Vote Scrapped After Teamsters Withdraw Support, City Says

By  Sybile Penhirin and Ben Fractenberg | February 4, 2016 11:09am 

 Dim Vasi, who has been working with his horse Murphy for 5 years, said he was relieved the deal was off the table.
Dim Vasi, who has been working with his horse Murphy for 5 years, said he was relieved the deal was off the table.
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DNAinfo/ Ben Fractenberg

CITY HALL — The City Council won't be voting Friday on the carriage horse deal after the union representing the industry backed out, according to the mayor.

The deal that would've cut the number of horse carriages in the city and confined their services to Central Park has been scrapped after the Teamsters announced Thursday they could no longer support the bill.

"With the legislation now finalized, our members are not confident that it provides a viable future for their industry. We cannot support the horse carriage bill currently before the City Council," said George Miranda, president of Teamsters Joint Council 16.

The Council had sufficient votes to pass the legislation, but without support from both sides of the agreement, the vote cannot happen, according to the Mayor's Office.

"We negotiated in good faith with the City Council and the Teamsters to reach this agreement," Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement Thursday morning. "The terms of that agreement have not changed during these past weeks, but today the Teamsters decided to back away from the fair compromise they had previously endorsed."

Under the deal, horse-drawn carriages would no longer be allowed to operate outside Central Park and the number of carriages would have been cut by more than half over the next two years.

The agreement, which was reached between the city and the Teamsters in mid-January, also included plans to build a stable inside Central Park and a ban that would prohibit pedicabs from operating below the 85th Street Transverse.

In a letter sent to all Council members, The Transport Workers Union Local 100 called the deal a "job killer."

"While we are disappointed this bill will no longer be considered Friday, the people of this city know what I believe, and we will work toward a new path on this issue,” de Blasio said.

Dim Vasi, a horse carriage driver for five years, said he was relieved the agreement was off the table.

“Thank God they pulled out of the deal,” Vasi, 34, said as he waited for clients outside of Central Park on West 59th Street on Thursday morning.

“Now we are going to stay together, me and [my horse] Murphy.”