Though taxi medallion owners are going to fight it in court until the last second, Bloomberg's dream of a legal street hail livery cabs is now much, much closer to reality. In a 7-2 vote the Taxi and Limousine Commission approved the plan. Not that the vote was an easy one.
If WNYC reporter Kathleen Horan's twitter is any indication, the meeting today was a raucous one with people being escorted out for shouting, yellow cab drivers calling the plan the "biggest taking of property by NYC" that will put $5 billion in medallion-related loans on the line (medallions are valuable!), also flat out begging of the TLC's chair David Yassky to postpone the vote. But in the end it was all for naught. The proposal, which Yassky called "historic," got the green light.
In the long term, the plan should introduce 18,000 new medallions over the next few years that will allow licensed livery cab drivers (in new, possibly green, cabs not dissimilar to yellow taxis) to pick up hails north of 96th Street and in the outer boroughs. Assuming the taxi owners current lawsuit fails, the first 6,000 of the new medallions should go on sale in June.