Livery cabs provide a very valuable service and a way to make a living for so many New Yorkers, but they are also largely unregulated, which not only makes it a dangerous situation for city residents, but also the industry’s drivers and employees.
The board that took up the issue was Community Board 1 in Brooklyn, but the issues surrounding livery cabs go much further than the neighborhoods of Williamsburg and Greenpoint.
Take Corona for instance, where every day Roosevelt Avenue is a choked and clogged mess of traffic because of double-parked cars and livery cabs driving at a snail’s pace while they troll for flags (which is illegal, by the way).
But those problems seem trivial compared to the stories coming from North Brooklyn of out-of-control drivers who are a life-threatening danger to pedestrians. A while back the two crossed paths, and a cyclist was reportedly hit by a livery cab and quite seriously injured. He survived, but will the next one?
We realize that it would be impractical to abolish the livery cab service altogether – in fact they provide a very valuable service, especially in neighborhoods in the outer boroughs where yellow cabs are loathe to travel, which is just about all but a handful.
However, the city needs an enforcement policy that has real teeth. Currently, the only real review a livery cab company faces is when they renew their license every two years. The Taxi and Limousine Commission needs a method to handle complaints every day, so that problems can be addressed – and punished, if necessary – when they arise