Mayor Bloomberg's proposed plan to legalize livery cab hails in the outer-boroughs is being held up by Governor Cuomo, who feels there are still some unresolved questions (like how many livery and taxi cabs are handicap-accessible, how many get to go to the airport). Cuomo's sudden indecisiveness is curious to the Daily News, given that he did, after all, steamroll tax reform.
The News editorial says Cuomo has to sign the bill:
The bill targets a ridiculous status quo in which yellow cabs exercise a monopoly on picking up passengers in the street. They stay in Manhattan and often refuse to go to the boroughs.
The result is that livery drivers accept street hails an estimated 10,000 times a day — disrespecting the law because it plainly does not work.
The fix on the table, as pushed by Mayor Bloomberg, calls for giving livery cars special permits that would allow them to pick up passengers in the street — but only in northern Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island.
Another part of the deal would auction yellow cab medallions to address the shortage of available taxis citywide — and raise an estimated $1 billion for a city that could sorely use the extra cash.
The News even says that Bloomberg's responses to objections have been reasonable (!!) and News columnist Juan Gonzalez also points out, "Street hails are strongly opposed by the powerful yellow cab industry, and one of its big players, Medallion Financial, happens to count Mario Cuomo, the governor’s father, as a director." (Cuomo's people deny that his father has anything to do with his stance.)
Some of the problems are rumored to be stemming from personal conflicts between Cuomo and Bloomberg, who had different opinions of tax reform. A source for the city tells the Post that negotiations are in the "sixth inning" while a Cuomo source claims they are in the "fifth inning." Cuomo has until December 21 to vote on the bill or veto it; if he does nothing, the bill automatically passes into law.