Melissa joined Mayor Bloomberg, elected officials and representatives from the livery taxi industry in Washington Heights yesterday to celebrate the agreement reached between Governor Cuomo, the State Legislature and advocates on a bill that will provide legal street hail service to under-served areas in New York City (including Upper Manhattan and the outer boroughs). The bill will also authorize a medallion sale that could bring up to $1 billion in new revenue to the city to help plug our budget deficit, and will expand the number of wheelchair accessible taxis.
“Today is a great day for Upper Manhattan and outer borough residents,” said Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito. “Finally, our communities will have access to the same safe, dependable street hail service that residents of the Central Business District have, and the drivers and bases that have served our neighborhoods for decades can provide this service legally. Any action that helps chip away at the barriers we face towards achieving equity is a victory for all. That is why this bill is so significant. I congratulate Mayor Bloomberg, Commissioner Yassky and all of the livery bases and drivers who have advocated so strongly for the passage of this legislation. I also thank Governor Cuomo for arriving at a fair resolution on this bill.”
Earlier this year, Melissa stood against a plan that would have excluded a vast number of livery bases and drivers by offering upgraded street-hail licenses at prices that were far out of reach for our communities; however, she strongly supported the bill that was ultimately passed by the State Legislature in June, which made this business opportunity more affordable, while still expanding service to parts of our Council District.