De Blasio Administration Puts A Hold On The Outerborough Taxi Program

It’s been nearly a year since the outerborough taxi program began and despite the sentiment behind it (i.e. finally, something for the bridge-and-tunnel crowd), reviews have been mixed. Certain, wealthier neighborhoods like DUMBO, Brooklyn Heights and Williamsburg are teeming with the apple green cabs. Other, less affluent areas, are lacking. And some people say they can’t even hail a cab because most of them are on the way to pick up an Uber user. Whatever the case, it’s been an interesting year in outerborough transportation.

However, it looks like things have taken an uncertain turn for the program: Yesterday, at a transportation-related hearing, taxi commissioner Meera Joshi revealed that part of the program, a rollout of 6000 more cabs, has been put on hold.

The news comes via Capital NY: According to the publication, the aforementioned rollout has been put on hiatus so the City can survey “stakeholders” (i.e. drivers, passengers, etc.) and “get a good understanding of how the program has worked thus far.”

A major reason the program expansion is being put on hold is due to an ongoing battle to make taxis more handicap accessible, a plan which hasn’t yet been put in place. The details of that plan are due June 12, the same day the rollout was supposed to take place, and if approved will create a new, rigorous set of policy changes for the outerborough taxi program.

The issue only gets more complicated from there and though the De Blasio administration guarantees that the expansion will happen eventually, the higher ups will be arguing over this issue for some time. Meanwhile, the 6000 cab drivers waiting to get their coveted green cabs and the passengers who rely on them will have to wait.

Follow Nikita Richardson on Twitter @nikitarbk

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  1. I suppose that since this is a Brooklyn-magazine, the perspective is on Brooklyn. However, since Queens is right next door, you probably should have done a little more research. Here in Jackson Heights, the lemon-lime colored taxis are tripping over themselves. They have lights on the roofs, they have meters and T and C plates. I still don’t know if they are legal because I heard last year that only 12 taxis were OKayed for Queens but my eyes don’t deceive me. There are scores in Jackson Heights. Just saying!