Changing the color of one’s car became a good investment in NYC. A number of taxi drivers have changed the color of their car from black to green joining the group of 2,100 Boro Taxis taking New York streets by storm. These taxis are the newest class of cars rolled out to serve better the residents of New York who live outside Manhattan, where yellow cabs dominated. For some drivers this means a substantial increase of their income – e.g. from $700 to $1,200 per week according to Porfirio Valdez, a taxi driver and a native of the Dominican Republic. Traditionally, the law only permitted black cars to provide trips that were organized by a dispatcher.
The move to paint New York Taxis green, a symbol similar to the Empire State Building or the Brooklyn Bridge, allowed car owners to join the market as it lowered the entry permit since the yellow-cab permit is valued above $ 1 million. On top of that, these new cabs are providing transportation to 6.7 million New Yorkers which is approximately 80 percent of the New York population.
The green cab permits have long term benefits to their owners. According to an agency spokesperson Allan Fromberg, the Taxi and Limousine Commission of New York sold in June 6,000 green cab licenses for $ 1,500 each. Later in December, 13 licenses were reported to the agency as to have been sold for $7,000 each. This is a 367 percent profit without taxes and other related fees.
The green cabs also offer almost all the convenience and security offered by the yellow cabs. These cars are fitted with credit card readers, meters and above all they go through inspection regularly. Before their introduction, the TLC projected that each day there were over 100,000 illegal trips carried out by the livery car drivers also known as gypsy car drivers as they picked and dropped off passengers on the streets.
According to the U.S. Census of 2000, out of the 62,000 cab drivers in New York, 82 percent are foreign born, 23 percent are Caribbean natives and 30 percent are from South Asia. In the early 1980s the working conditions of the cab drivers in New York took a dramatic change following the increase in crime in the streets of New York and this affected the cost of the medallion licenses making it harder for cab drivers to own one. This was the toughest period for most cab drivers as they were subjected to robberies, carjacking and street crime. For example in the first 9 months of 1970, seven cab drivers were killed and approximately 3,000 were robbed in New York City despite the use of bullet resistant partitions.
For you to have your cab on the streets of New York today, you must have your car painted, have a taxi logo printed as well, your personal information printed, have cameras meters and GPS fitted. These recommendations are made to make these cabs safer for the entire New York population.