Community leaders are bashing the city’s plan to extend a car service’s license to operate out of the Kings Plaza shopping center, claiming that the livery cabs clog up the street and put shoppers in jeopardy as they hustle to pick up fares.
The Taxi and Limousine Commission has allowed the Kings Plaza Car Service — which has no relation to the Avenue U shopping mecca — to keep a temporary base at the mall’s E. 55th Street entrance for shoppers to arrange pick ups as the livery company renews its license to operate there.
The livery company has been picking up fares at the kiosk since May, 2011, when it joined a city program designed to connect shoppers with car service providers rather than the illegal dollar vans that routinely circle the mall, but Community Board 18 District Manager Dorothy Turano said Kings Plaza Car Service should pack up its bags and leave.
“It’s just a bad location,” Turano said, noting the car service’s E. 55th Street pick up spot. “They cause congestion and they’re a danger to pedestrians crossing the street.”
CB18 members asked the city to pull the car service out of Kings Plaza in June. Taxi and Limousine Commission spokesman Allan Fromberg said his agency was aware of the board’s opposition, yet will still allow the livery cab company to remain where it is as long as the company is renewing its licence.
“We have advised the Kings Plaza Car Service’s owner of this and have urged him to work out their issues to the community board’s satisfaction,” he said.
The owner of the car service said the community’s fears are completely unwarranted.
“We’re a legitimate car service, we’re licensed and insured, with air conditioned cars, and we don’t make traffic or anything,” said Boris Kovalik. “The Taxi and Limousine Commission and Kings Plaza both said they want us to have a license.”
Motorists who routinely roll by Kings Plaza said they aren’t bothered by the car service’s presence.
“I’m here twice a week and, when I do see them, they’re in and out fast,” said Mario Galbo. “I never get bothered.”
Reach reporter Colin MIxson at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (718) 260-4514.