When the Boro Taxi program launched in 2013 with its fleet of green-tinged cabs, the point was to gird areas in the outer boroughs where yellow cabs were scarce. It was a nice idea in theory, but in practice, the problem with green cabs is the same as the problem with yellow cabs: They go to the busiest areas, not the most under-served ones. So if you live in, say, Red Hook or Jamaica, flagging a green cab is just as difficult as trying to hail a yellow one. Which is, after all, how the network of informal transportation via dollar vans and gypsy cabs continues to thrive. See also: Uber.
You probably already knew that anecdotally if you live in one of the neighborhoods that isn’t usually crowded with cabs of either variety, but a map on DNA Info compiling the GPS data on Boro Taxis illustrates the disparity pretty neatly.
Neighborhoods with the worst green cab service include Bay Ridge, East New York, Red Hook, Maspeth, and Jamaica. But the Taxi and Limo Commission isn’t blind to the problem. TLC Commissioner Meera Joshi noted that they expect coverage to be better as they release more cabs. “As cars have been added, we’ve seen them spreading out,” Joshi said. “It’s our expectation that with the addition of additional cars, we’ll continue that spread-out service.”
But more cabs isn’t necessarily going to solve the problem. Odds are that those cabs will cluster in the same places with maximum foot traffic, where pick-ups are easier to come by. Which is why the gypsy cab is just not going anywhere.