Check out the color difference in between the official cabs and the fakes! (photo via Bike Snob NYC)
Though it is illegal for a yellow cab driver to turn down a fare to the outside boroughs, it is often difficult to get them to cross the East River, especially when you really need them to. In essence, it makes sense from the perspective of the cab drivers: stay in the area where fares are densest and you will barely have any wait time between them. Enter the new “apple-green” 5-Boro cabs that are now opearting in Manhattan (strictly north of West 110th and East 96th) and all the outer boroughs. But recently, some fake green livery cabs have surfaced in the outer boroughs and Harlem as well, looking to cash in on those unknowingly taking them for the real deal and the TLC is looking to ban cars of the same color.
This apple-green cab is the real deal.
In August, the TLC allotted 18,000 permits to the 63 new green taxi bases in the outer boroughs: 22 in the Bronx, 17 in Brooklyn, 12 in Queens, 11 in Manhattan and one in Staten Island. An additional 1,300 licenses are being given to existing livery cab companies who, after a lawsuit, have agreed to paint their cars green, outfit them with GPS and adhere to the regulations against picking up fares in the airports or restricted parts of Manhattan. These TLC-licenses allow drivers to pick up fares from the street, and all other taxis are required to pre-arrange their rides (though some of them do not adhere to this requirement).
This car from Ditmas Park is not a cab, but will need a new paint job if the Taxi & Limousine Commission gets its way. (Via Ditmas Park Corner)
More recently, the TLC has taken notice of a rise in rogue cabs painted a similar hue of green to trick passengers. They lack the decals, the roof lamp, and other well known taxi-cab signage. Reports of these fake apple-green cabs are coming from various parts of the outer boroughs, and it is causing the TLC to take action to ban colors of this similar hue of green. TLC Commissioner David Yassky stated, “We want to make sure there’s no confusion among the public so that the new rule says unless you’re a legitimate borough taxi, you can’t paint your car that color.” The proposed ban will ban all shades of green from cars, and the TLC is urging drivers to “avoid green in the meantime.”
Let us know if you see / have seen more of these impostors in the streets by tweeting us a picture or using the hashtag #UntappedCities!