Livery drivers rally against taxi expansion

File of a New York City cab (AP Photo)

June 6, 2011 9:23:00 AM PDT
Mayor Michael Bloomberg's plan to expand taxi service in all five boroughs is running into resistance.

Livery cab drivers on Monday protested the plan to create more than 1,000 new taxi medallions.

The new cabs would operate in the outer boroughs, where the livery drivers do most of their business.

Thousands of drivers and their supporters gathered at City Hall Monday.

They say the proposal is unfair, because the new cabs will be allowed to pick up street hails, which livery drivers are banned from doing.

The livery cab drivers would prefer to legalize outer borough street hails for themselves and and continue to have exclusive rights to pick up passengers in areas underserved by yellow cabs.

The livery cabbies say they have provided an important service for 40 years and that it should not change.

Representatives of the yellow cab industry joined the rally because they believe linking the two industries will negatively impact the salaries of all drivers.