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Herman D. Farrell, Jr.
Assembly District 71
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Chair, Ways and Means Committee
Assemblyman Farrell Helps Pass Legislation to Increase Taxi Service in Northern Manhattan and the Outer Boroughs
Legislation will also improve access to taxis for people with disabilities
January 24, 2012

Assemblyman Herman D. Farrell, Jr. (D-Manhattan) announced the Assembly passed legislation he supported (A.8691-A) that will allow New York City to issue 18,000 Hail Accessible Inter-borough Licenses (HAIL) allowing livery cars to pick up street hails. Twenty percent of the licenses will be for accessible vehicles to provide more transportation options to people with disabilities. An agreement on this legislation has been reached with the Governor and the Senate.

“For too long, persistent transportation problems within New York City have gone unanswered, leading to nearly nonexistent taxi presence outside of Manhattan’s Central Business District and a troubling lack of vehicles for people with disabilities,” Farrell said. “This new plan will afford New Yorkers in underserved areas greater access to taxicab service in and around the city. This will also lead to more revenue for the City of New York, helping protect vital programs for seniors and hardworking families.”

Under the legislation, New York City will be able to issue the new licenses over the next three years. The city will also be authorized to issue up to 450 new base permits, generating up to $1.3 million in revenue. In addition, the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) will issue 2,000 new taxicab licenses for vehicles that are accessible to people with disabilities. The TLC will also be required to provide grants of up to $15,000 to retrofit HAIL vehicles to accommodate people with disabilities and establish a program to support the introduction of handicapped-accessible vehicles into the HAIL vehicle fleet.

“The issuance of new HAIL licenses to service the underserved areas of the five boroughs and Upper Manhattan, and new medallions, will substantially improve the ability of New Yorkers, especially those with disabilities, to get where they need to go quickly and easily,” Farrell said. “It is imperative that that we continue to support these kinds of initiatives to make traveling within New York City more accessible, efficient and affordable.”