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Hey, taxi! Brooklynites may soon get to hail metered livery cabs

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Hail yes!

Brooklynites are cheering a revolutionary city initiative to put meters inside livery cabs — and allow them to make on-street pick-ups in the outer boroughs.

Presently, it is illegal for anything but a yellow medallion-bearing cab to make curbside pick-ups within the city, but the new law would extend that right to certain car service vehicles — legalizing a practice that occurs regularly in Brooklyn.

The difference is that under the proposal, passengers won’t be taken for a ride when they’re taken for a ride.

“Drivers give me different prices all the time to go to the same place,” said Jamie Garcia, who grabs cabs from the Atlantic Terminal Mall on Flatbush Avenue to go to Nostrand Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant. “One day, I’ll get charged $10, the next time, it’s $14.”

In our test, we were quoted several different prices for a trip from the mall to Brooklyn Bridge Park in DUMBO. One driver said it would be $10, another $12, and two said $15 — though most were willing to haggle.

The operator inside the DMD Car Service taxi stand, stationed outside of the mall on Fort Greene Place, said a trip to DUMBO would cost $12, but a DMD driver whom we hailed said the fare was $15.

Taxi and Limousine Commissioner David Yassky says he wants to stop these unfair fares.

“We need to end these under-the-table rate negotiations so people stop getting ripped off,” Yassky told Community Board 13 last Wednesday.

The city has not confirmed if the meter rates would be the same as yellow taxis, which is $2.50 plus 40 cents for every 1/5 of a mile. Liveries that choose to register for a meter and on-street pick-up license would also be equipped with credit card readers and navigation system locators — just like yellow taxis.

Many say the new rules would make them feel more comfortable about hailing the so-called “black cars.”

“It would be great to regulate them so you’d know exactly what price you’re going to get,” said Fort Greene resident Marie Schumacher. “I would take those cabs more if they had meters.”

Yellow cabbies are among the opponents to the plan.

“The mayor is proposing a second tier taxi market that will make second-class citizens of taxi drivers,” Bhairavi Desai, spokesman of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance said in a statement.

But the city maintains that the mandatory navigation system in hailed livery cabs would allow the Taxi and Limousine Commission to crack down on Manhattan pick-ups, which would still be banned.

Agency spokesman Allan Fromberg added that revenue generated from the license fees paid by hailed liveries would fund increased enforcement of illegal pick-ups.

Updated 5:23 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Sid from Boerum Hill says:
Hail NO!

he knows what the price should be. Does he think it will be less with a meter? what happens when traffic is slow and the meter just keeping clicking away(see below)? has he been in a yellow cab recently and taken it for any even short ride? BTW the meter rounds up so the cost with the .50 state tax for the first 1/5 of a mile is $3.40(there is also an rush hour charge of $1.00 plus a late night charge). Is it just too hard to use your cell phone to call a car service? Most have a minimum charge of $6 or 7 but any cab ride that short is probably walked anyway...
The black cars are licensed. In the neighbor hoods where truly unlicensed people operate(mostly because they are illegal immigrants) ...nothing will change.
So we will know have a bunch of cruising cabs....I have a simple solution allow the TLC commissioner to allow licensed black cars to pick up at predetermined locations and give the passenger a sheet with the fare.... no worry about slow traffic...

Standard City Rate (Rate Code 1)
$2.50 upon entry
$0.40 for each additional unit

The unit fare is:

* one-fifth of a mile, when the taxicab is traveling at 6 miles an hour or more; or
* 60 seconds when not in motion or traveling at less than 12 miles per hour.
* The taximeter shall combine fractional measures of distance and time in accruing a unit of fare. Any combination of distance or time shall be computed by the taximeter in accordance with the National Institute of Standards and Technology Handbook 44.
* The fare shall include pre-assessment of the unit currently being accrued; the amount due may therefore include a full unit charge for a final, fractional unit.
* Night surcharge of $.50 after 8:00 PM & before 6:00 AM
* Peak hour Weekday Surcharge of $1.00 Monday - Friday after 4:00 PM & before 8:00 PM
* New York State Tax Surcharge of $.50 per ride.

and I am not a cab driver!
March 3, 2011, 9:50 am
Joey from Clinton Hills says:
maybe you can find some taxi coupons on Groupon?
March 3, 2011, 12:18 pm
al pankin from downtown says:
the city must have their heads in the sand...rogue taxis and black cars are in front of my office in downtown brooklyn all day long...the city can't even regulate the dollar livery vans who poach the bus customers from the mta bus stops on livingston and smith st. every time the city has a problem regulating an illegal situation they make it legal..
March 3, 2011, 4:17 pm
sal from brooklyn says:
this is the worst idea in the history of nyc. right now you can pick up a cab ride for nothing, once these meters kick in you will be charged an arm and a leg.
very easy to shop around and find a cheap cab!!!
new yorkers please dont be fooled, the city wants to collect their taxes
March 3, 2011, 7:57 pm
sam from brooklyn says:
please dont let this pass!!!!!
March 3, 2011, 7:59 pm
common sense from bay ridge says:
The real reason for this is so the city can collect taxes on every single ride livery cabs go on. Right now, they get nowhere near what they should, and they know it. That's why there will be GPS devices to go along with the meters. This has nothing to do with quality of life.
March 3, 2011, 11:03 pm
Albert from Park Slope says:
We need less Livery cars and more taxi stands for Medallion taxis in high traffic areas. Give us real choices.

If they put meters in liveries what will make them use them? They would still negotiate the fare off the meter. Why would they want touse meters when they will make less money?
March 4, 2011, 6:50 am
David Grett from Park Slope says:
You know, I find that Brooklyn has adequate yellow cab service. Putting meters in liver cab will just add to the congestion in Manhattan and major arteries headin into Manhattan. Have you seen how many yellow cabs are hired to go into Manhattan in the morning rush? Once livery cabs pick ups are allowed, they will start cruising the major arteries leading into Manhattan for those Manhattan-bound fares. There will be so much more congestion in Manhattan.

Here's how to catch a yellow cab in Brooklyn. Wait at one of the major roads leading into Manhattan. Park Slope's 7th Avenue is great. There are a lot of cabs that do go to Brooklyn and they have to go back into Manhattan somehow.
March 11, 2011, 3:15 pm
Mary Thrope from Kensington says:
Allowing livery cabs to pick up street hails will cut into the yellow cab drivers' profits. There are so many passengers that yellow cabs pick up in the outer boroughs.
March 11, 2011, 3:43 pm
Gail Jones from Bedford Stuyvesant says:
My daddy drives them livery cabs. He don't need no meters. Livery cab prices are fair because in the negotiations include the tip. Some yellow cabbies pick up in Brooklyn and the outer boroughs. Lotta adventurous cabbies out there.
March 11, 2011, 3:49 pm

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