From the NY Post:
Mayor Bloomberg wants to legalize the widespread — but officially illegal — practice of livery cabbies picking up passengers on the street.
In his State of the City speech tomorrow, the mayor will urge the City Council to toss out the rules that say livery drivers can only pick up fares by pre-arrangement.
According to Taxi and Limousine Commission figures, 97.5 percent of yellow taxi trips originate in Manhattan or at the airports, leaving the 80 percent of the city’s population who live in the outer boroughs to rely on illegal livery pickups.
"And why shouldn’t someone in Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx or Staten Island be able to hail a legal cab on the street?" Bloomberg will say, according to an advance text of his address.
"Whether you’re standing on 42nd Street in Manhattan, or 42nd Street in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, or 42nd Street in Sunnyside, Queens, you ought to be able to hail a cab."
The TLC acknowledges that yellow taxis almost never cruise outside Manhattan.
Under legislation Bloomberg will propose, livery taxis will be able to accept "street-hails" provided they have meters, credit card readers, GPS locators and have recognizable markings, such as a single uniform color. The city would determine the fare structure, as it does with yellow cabs.