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Desai: The plan will hurt yellow cabbies

for The Brooklyn Paper
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We are stunned by the mayor’s proposal to turn liveries into taxis in the outer boroughs.

Legalizing an illegal activity because it’s been done for so long will immediately cut into fares, especially during the rush hours when yellow cab drivers who live in the outer boroughs pick up fares at the beginning or end of their shifts.

And as liveries bring more riders into Manhattan, what guarantee do we have that the city will stop the illegal activities in Manhattan or the airports? Already, the city has turned a blind eye on such activity throughout Manhattan and the airports, which cuts deep into taxi driver incomes. This is a slippery slope with long-term implications. Meanwhile, yellow cab drivers pay between $130-$190 per shift before they can break even. Every fare counts.

Already there is increased competition as more taxis are being leased out during this recession with record high number of license holders. Nothing has been done to bring down the costs on drivers, namely the lease, or change the unfair five percent cut on credit card fares or the impact of the 50-cent MTA tax which many still wrongly think goes to the driver and not the state.

On top of more competition, higher expenses and reduced number of passengers, we will face more competition and fewer passengers. This will have a long-term impact on us. Basically, the mayor is proposing a second tier taxi market that will make second-class citizens of taxi drivers.

Bhairavi Desai is executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, a union of 15,000 yellow cab drivers.

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Reader Feedback

Reggie from Coney Island says:
But what does she say about the NUMEROUS cases of yellow cabs in Manhattan refusing to take passengers to the outer boroughs?? Granted, drivers do have many expenses, but until they show some sort of compassion for us "outer boroughers", they will get NONE from me. And what point is she trying to make about those drivers that live in the outerboroughs picking up fares as they come into the city??? Is she saying that the only way the outerboroughs get any yellow taxis is at the beginning or end of a driver's shift?? That doesn't sound like you're trying to gain any sympathy there, either Ms. Desai...
March 11, 2011, 12:24 pm
Steve says:
Here is what I say about independent contractors who have to make business decisions about who to convey and who NOT to convey. Why is there a ban on two way radio dispatch? Get rid of the ban and passengers will be able to summon a cab by phone. Why that is not legal today is very puzzling.
March 12, 2011, 5:10 am
Chris from Bushwick says:
So let me get this straight:

Bhairavi Desai is against allowing outer borough residents to hail livery cabs.

She was on NY1 last week defending yellow cab drivers who refuse to take fares to the outer boroughs.

Brooklyn to Desai: Screw you!
March 15, 2011, 10:21 am
chris from brooklyn says:
I'm with you guys the mayor should allow this than you will see the yellow cabs start taking people where they want to go than the mayor will stop the program and than the cabs will go right back to where they were before mark my words.
March 19, 2011, 1:07 am

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