Since 7 a.m. Monday, Livery drivers are rallying at City Hall in Manhattan, against New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposal to increase new taxis in the four boroughs; Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island.
We are here to serve the community of poor people. The service is 45 years old, but now they want to put the new law, a protestor told the International Business Times.
We have family and we have the bills to pay. We don't have money to afford the new cabs, it's impossible! All the drivers are poor people, he said.
On the boards read,
We created this community. We need peace at work.
We can't afford $900,000 medallions.
Over 1,000 livery cab drivers are at the protest, which is expected to last until early afternoon today.
Livery cabs are supposed to pick up customers only when they call the car service's dispatcher and request a ride.
This year, the Taxi and Lomousine Commission has given 1,300 tickets in April to livery drivers who illegally picked up passangers off the streets. In 2010 the number of tickets by the month of April had been only 64.
The TLC, in its effort against illegal street hails, is planning to put 6,000 new yellow cabs and auction 1,500 new medallions. Mayor Bloomberg proposed to end the injsutice by enforcing a five-borough taxi and livery-service plan through the new class of cabs with partitions and safety features, linking them to the borough taxis allowed to pick up street hails in the boroughs and Upper Manhattan only. Livery drivers can convert their livery licenses into legal ones.
Livery cab drivers are endangered in their business as they are unable to afford a medallion.
For the proposal to be enacted, it needs to be approved by City Council. TLC Commissioner David Yassky said he is willing to consider the livery cab drivers' objections in making the final plan, reported NY1.