Unveiled by Mayor Michael Bloomberg last weekend, the new bright green cabs are scheduled to be released on the city’s roads by June 2012
Known as ‘Boro Taxis’, the fleet of livery cabs will be allowed to pick up passengers outside of Northern Manhatten and Manhatten above East 96th and West 110th Streets. New Yorkers have said that the biggest problem with hailing a cab is outside of Manhatten, so Mayor Bloomberg hopes that the new cabs will make it easier for passengers.
Only yellow taxis were previously allowed to pick up passengers from outside Manhatten, which led to around 100,000 illegal hails happening each day. In February a law passed which allows the 7 million people living in areas outside of Manhatten to hail taxis, which led to the introduction of these new green cabs.
New York are issuing 18,000 Boro Taxi permits and in June the first 6,000 permits will become available. The permits will be valid for three years and cost $1,500 each.
Mayor Bloomberg said the new scheme will encourage “thousands” of “livery drivers” “out of the shadows and into the legal economy”. He said, “We went out to try to find something that would be recognizable…that would be distinguishable from the yellow cabs, and that would be pleasing to the eye and fit in with the city.”
The new green cabs will be equipped with roof lights signalling, credit card machines and meters, the same as yellow taxis. They will also cost the same as yellow taxis and the cost of commercial taxi insurance will also be similar.
At the beginning of April, the new mini-van style vehicle that has charging plugs for passenger’s electronics was also unveiled.