Taxi relief arrives on Park Row


Customers of J&R Music and Computer World and other stores along Park Row as well as tourists and locals looking for a taxi, will no longer have to loiter on the sidewalk for minutes on end attempting to waive down a cab.

That’s thanks to a new taxi relief stand located between Ann and Beekman Streets, the result of a joint effort between J&R, the New York City Department of Transportation and the Downtown Alliance.

“Introducing the second taxi relief stand in Lower Manhattan will not only give drivers a place to take a break and get a free cup of coffee, but it will also bring more cabs Downtown,” said Elizabeth Berger, president of the Downtown Alliance.

J&R customers often rely on taxi service to get home, since many of them are transporting heavy appliances they purchased in the store. They previously had trouble finding cabs, often having to rely on car service or public transportation. “Park Row where J&R is situated is very difficult,” said Abe Brown, one of the managers at J&R. “[The cabs] are like, stuck in a maze.”

After years of futile requests to various city agencies, according to Brown, the Taxi and Limousine Commission agreed last spring to implement the service. The relief stand was installed on November 1.

Brown and the other store managers offer the cab drivers free coffee at the café during their breaks, along with use of the store’s facilities.

The stand will “provide a respite for our hardworking taxi drivers citywide,” according to J&R President Rachelle Friedman.

“They can’t thank us enough – they’re so happy and so excited that somebody cares for them,” Brown said.

The Park Row stand is the 43rd taxi relief stand in Manhattan, and the second one in the Downtown area. The other stand is on South Street, between Wall Street and Gouverneur Lane.