State of the City’s Transportation: Livery Cabs and Ferries

Mayor Bloomberg delivering the State of the City today. Image: NYC.gov.
Mayor Bloomberg delivering the State of the City today. Image: NYC.gov.

Mayor Bloomberg delivered his tenth State of the City address this afternoon, laying out what he believed to be the city’s accomplishments, challenges, and priorities for the future. And if the speech is any indication, taxis and ferries are at the top of his transportation agenda.

Bloomberg’s plan to create a new class of taxi for the outer boroughs was included in a list of programs intended to make city government more efficient. “Why shouldn’t someone in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, or Staten Island be able to hail a legal cab on the street?” asked the mayor. Under the plan, livery cabs would be allowed to legally pick up street hails so long as they met a set of taxi-style requirements, including metered rates, credit card readers, standard markings, and GPS. A memo by TLC Commissioner David Yassky and Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith argues that expanding cab service in the boroughs would make a car-free lifestyle there easier; currently, 97.5 percent of yellow cab hails are in Manhattan or at the airports.

Bloomberg also discussed his administration’s continued redevelopment of the city’s waterfront. He touted plans to institute city-subsidized ferry service along the East River, the only other mention of transportation policy in the speech. Bus service, walking and cycling didn’t make it into the speech.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Overhaul of NYC Livery Cab System Now Awaits Cuomo’s Signature

|
Legislation passed by the State Senate last Friday night could clear the way for Mayor Michael Bloomberg to completely revamp taxi service in large swaths of the city through the introduction of a new class of vehicle authorized to pick up street hails only outside the Manhattan core. The improved service should make it easier […]

Yassky: Taxi Plan Will Reduce Car Ownership, Improve Safety

|
Since Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced his plan to create a new class of taxis allowed to make street hails outside the Manhattan core, most of the coverage has focused on the potential effect on yellow cab medallion owners’ profits or livery drivers’ earnings. Less has been written about the broader effect such a plan would […]

This Week: Velo City Benefit, Borough Taxi Public Hearing

|
The non-profit Velo City, which uses a bike-based curriculum to teach high school students about urban planning issues, is hosting its third annual benefit this week. Should be a good one: special guest Majora Carter will be honored with the organization’s Inspiring Individual award. Also on this week’s calendar: the TLC holds a public hearing […]

NYC’s Taxi Regulations Are Obsolete. How Should They Change?

|
The de Blasio administration’s proposed slowdown in new for-hire vehicle licenses for a one-year study period could be the opening move in a major rewrite of the rules governing the city’s taxi and livery industry. The current system is an anachronism, and a big overhaul could harmonize the city’s growing array of medallion taxis, green cabs, and Uber-type services in a way that lessens the […]