As the City Council debated a bill that would open 10 taxi stands in the outer boroughs, the Taxi and Limousine Commissioner Matthew Daus said cabbies wouldn't be interested. Daus says that only 8% of cab rides outside of Manhattan are for non-airport destinations. In fact, his words were actually: "When there's an ocean of water to drink in Manhattan, why would they go for a puddle in the outer reaches of the city?"
City Councilman John Liu, who sponsored the bill, pointed out that yellow cabs only go to non-airport destinations in other boroughs 8% of the time because people are using gypsy cabs: "The TLC is blind to the problem that exists out there." The Post had a good collection of quotes from other city council members:
Oliver Koppel (D-Bronx) admitted that he sometimes takes a gypsy cab at the end of the subway line at 231st Street and Broadway because it's the only transportation available to Riverdale.
"We need to have a system that doesn't make me feel I'm breaking the law to get home," said Koppel.
Darlene Mealy (D-Brooklyn) said the current system was "almost like discrimination at the outer boroughs."
Vincent Ignizio (R-S.I.) said in his borough, "you have a better chance of seeing God than seeing a yellow cab."
Daus pointed out that the TLC tried to put a taxi stand in Harlem, which was opposed by locals. And the NY Times reported, "Daus, who lives in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, said that he found car services to be more convenient than yellow cabs in his neighborhood, and that he stored the numbers of several cab companies in his cellphone."
Car services may be more convenient, but like our readers, we hate haggling with the drivers. And we had no idea the taxi stands outside Penn Station, Grand Central, Port Authority, and the airports weren't operated by the TLC! Anyway, the City Council didn't vote on the bill - they'll pick it up again in a few months.
Photograph by ianqui on Flickr