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Outerborough taxi permits on hold until late summer
The city is putting the outer borough taxi program back into gear with new permits expected to be issued in the late summer.
The Taxi and Limousine Commission gave a timeline for issuing a second batch of 6,000 permits for the green taxis on Friday a day after the agency chief told the City Council more outreach was needed before moving on the program started during the Bloomberg administration.
“The expansion of this service will have far-reaching effects on many constituencies, and the importance of fully considering accessibility, making sure that every stakeholder’s voice is heard, and that all concerns have been heard and addressed is vital to the continued success of this program,” TLC Chair Meera Joshi said in a statement.
The TLC can issue 6,000 permits for the green-colored taxis that serve the outer boroughs and northern Manhattan on June 12, but Joshi said Thursday at the City Council that there must first be outreach to disability advocates, drivers and passengers. There are 5,000 green taxis on the road and another thousand that need to get rolling.
"We're moving forward with the program but some initial steps need to be taken," Joshi said. "We want to do it in an informed manner, and that takes some time."
She did not provide a timeline of when the permits would be issued and hinted that changes could be made after hearing from the industry and riders.
"If it's real engagement there are changes that are made," she said. "If we made no changes it might not be a true engagement of feedback."
On Friday, the TLC said the city wants approval from the state on a Disabled Accesibility Plan, which would be reviewed by the City Council and the state Department of Transportation by mid-August. Permits would then start being issued, the TLC said.