By Laurie Cherenfant
A large group of livery drivers assembled near the corner of Broad and Beaver Street on Tuesday to protest the new rule changing the color of livery cabs uniformly to green.
The move was designed by the city to expand legal street-hail service beyond Manhattan insuring that minority neighborhoods will have access to livery cab service, elected officials said. The standard color was expected to thwart illegal hails.
But the protestors argued that the change is too expensive for them.
“There is no purpose and we need money for our families,” Nelson Castillo said, 49. “We are being targeted.”
Castillo complained that the changes involved many expenses. “I have to paint my black car green and that’s $1,000.,” he said. “A permit costs $2,000. I also have to get a credit card machine, a meter and insurance which is about $6,000.”
Protest organizer Pedro Aguilar exclaimed through a megaphone: “We need to stop the Taxi and Limousine Commision in its tracks and we need them to understand that you are hard working men and woman.”
If TLC Commissioner David Yassky ignores them, protestors vowed to picket the mayor’s office within a month and then protest in Albany.