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Cuomo to sign bill expanding livery cab service

December 21, 2011 3:58:58 AM PST
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a deal Tuesday that will allow people to hail livery drivers in the outer boroughs and increase the number of those livery cabs.

It's great news for any New Yorker who has tried and failed to find a cab in a borough outside of Manhattan. But not everyone is happy.

The move will generate about $1 billion for the city, but livery drivers say it's at their expense.

The deal between Cuomo and the Bloomberg administration was reached after months of negotiation, and Cuomo is expected to sign the law Wednesday.

"You can't make everyone happy, but reasonable people who come together and work very hard can fashion a solution," Cuomo said.

The agreement calls for the creation of a new class of hail-accessible inter-borough livery licenses, 20 percent of which will be for vehicles accessible to individuals with disabilities.

The Taxi and Limousine Commission will issue up to 18,000 new licenses, and $15,000 in grants will be given to retro-fit vehicles.

The auction of the new medallions is expected to raise at least $1 billion for the city, but the head of the livery cab association opposes the plan. He says installing all the new technology will end up costing the drivers.

"You gotta paint the car, have to put the sign on top that says taxi," said Fernando Mateo, president of the Federation of Taxi Drivers. "You have to put a partition, a meter, a GPS system. You have to pay more insurance."

Bloomberg will be in Inwood on Wednesday to discuss the expanded livery service.

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