November 12, 2013
Apple Green Boro Taxis Have Provided Nearly 300,000 Rides, and All 6,000 Boro Taxi Permits Available for 2013 Have Now Been Sold
New Website Asks New Yorkers Where Boro Taxi Stands Would Best Serve Their Communities
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Taxi and Limousine Commissioner David Yassky and Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities Commissioner Victor Calise today announced that more than 1,000 of the new Boro Taxis are now on New York City streets, dramatically increasing the availability of legal, street hail taxi service to the millions of New Yorkers who live or work outside of Manhattan’s Central Business District. The apple green colored Boro Taxis are equipped with taximeters, roof lights and credit card machines and began operating in early August, providing nearly 300,000 rides across the five boroughs since the launch. The Taxi and Limousine Commission has already sold the first 6,000 Boro Taxi licenses allotted for the first year, of which 1,200 – or 20 percent – are earmarked only for use on wheelchair accessible vehicles. An additional 6,000 licenses will be made available in June of 2014, and 6,000 more will be sold in 2015 for a total of 18,000 licenses issued over a three year period. The Mayor was joined by Boro Taxi drivers, industry leaders, and disability advocates at Cine Magic Riverfront Studios in Williamsburg to celebrate the milestone.
“Boro Taxis have quickly proven themselves to be immensely popular, with almost 300,000 rides having already taken place,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “For decades, millions of New Yorkers were denied safe and legal taxi hails in their own neighborhoods – something we believed was wrong and set out to fix. The new taxis have been a hit with both riders and drivers, and they will become an increasingly common sight in communities that previously lacked taxi service.”
“This was a monumental undertaking,” said Taxi and Limousine Commissioner Yassky. “This effort required an unprecedented level of communication, cooperation and coordination with the neighborhood livery companies who have long served the boroughs, and I am as proud of the process that brought us to this milestone as I am of the service itself. The fact that this initiative is helping livery drivers and their families realize an American dream while they are helping their neighbors and their communities makes this a win for everyone involved.”
“People with disabilities have been waiting for alternative accessible transportation options for a long time,” said Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities Commissioner Calise. “Now, thanks to the Mayor’s leadership, the outer borough livery HAIL plan that is putting accessible liveries on the streets provides just that. We are looking forward to seeing more accessible taxis and liveries throughout the five boroughs.”
The Boro Taxi plan was originally announced by Mayor Bloomberg in his January 2011 State of the City address in Staten Island, and was envisioned as a way of bringing the same quality hail taxi service that is available in central Manhattan to other areas throughout the City. Legislation enabling this new mode of transportation passed both houses of the New York State Legislature, and was signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo in December 2011. The legislation authorizes the apple green taxis to pick up passengers by street hail anywhere in the City outside of the central Manhattan Business District, including north of West 110th Street and north of East 96th Street in Manhattan, and with the exception of John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia airports. In addition to the 6,000 vehicle permits, the legislation authorizes up to 450 permits for bases of which the vehicles must be affiliated. Due to the dual use of the Boro Taxis, offering both street hail and pre-arranged service, these bases will dispatch Boro Taxis for non-metered, flat fare rides in addition to street hails. There are approximately 130 of these bases currently in operation.
In just over three months of operation, the Boro Taxi service has been an enormously popular service among New Yorkers and visitors. Ridership numbers as of November 8th include:
In order to solicit important feedback from passengers, Mayor Bloomberg also announced a new web site that will encourage New Yorkers to suggest locations in their communities for new stands where Boro Taxis will be available for hail. The website - www.BoroTaxis.org – was designed by the same team that created the successful Bike Share web site that sought public input for the siting of bicycle docks. The site allows visitors to select a location on an interactive map, and then answer questions about why they believe a stand would be useful in that location, and when it would be most valuable.
“This is very exciting for Brooklyn – and all outer boro travelers,” said Assemblyman Joseph Lentol. “To be able to travel the boro better and easier means improving the quality of life for New York City residents who will be able to get to everything they need in a simple straightforward way. And, we know that shoppers and tourists now love New York's boros as much as Manhattan. They will appreciate moving easily around Brooklyn and other boros as they explore this great City.”
“The outer-borough taxi plan has been a win-win for the livery cab industry and the millions of New Yorkers we serve,” said Cira Angeles of the Livery Base Owners Association. “As we hit a major milestone – 6,000 permits issued – we recognize this successful effort to provide an important transportation alternative to those living outside downtown Manhattan. We’ve been able to bring an entire industry out of the shadows and preserve businesses that have been serving the transportation needs of outer-borough residents. We’re eager to continue serving all New Yorkers and expanding opportunities for drivers and economic stability for their families as we work towards the next 6,000 permits, and beyond.”
“I’m really enthusiastic about the new boro taxi program and I'm encouraged by the 20 percent accessibility guideline,” said Ronnie Ellen Raymond, advocate for accessible transportation. “I understand that 1,200 wheelchair-accessible permits have been issued, and I look forward to seeing all 3,600 issued eventually. This is a service that has been needed for so long and the disability community outside of Manhattan will benefit greatly from the spontaneity and individual service that these cabs will provide.”
“We are on track to achieve another record year for tourism, with at least 53 million visitors expected by year’s end,” said George Fertitta, CEO of NYC & Company. “The apple green cabs offer our visitors another convenient way to explore and enjoy the world class attractions, restaurants, retailers and cultural organizations spread across all of New York City’s boroughs.”
Marc La Vorgna/Patrick Muncie (212) 788-2958
Allan Fromberg (TLC) (212) 676-1013