For immediate release: Thursday, May 7, 2015
Media Contact for MTBOT: Michael Woloz, Connell McLaughlin & Woloz, 212-437-7373, firstname.lastname@example.org
Media Contact for Move NY: Bart Robbett, 203-571-8502, email@example.com
Metropolitan Taxicab Board Of Trade Endorses Move NY, Citing Acute Need
To Reduce Congestion And Fund Mass Transit
(Queens, NY) The Metropolitan Taxicab Board of Trade (MTBOT), New York City’s largest yellow taxicab advocacy organization representing nearly 70% of all corporate taxi medallions, has endorsed the Move NY Fair Plan which aims to reduce congestion and fund mass transit. MTBOT has committed to working closely with the Move NY team to help educate the public about the benefits of the plan and work towards the adoption of the plan in Albany.
Alex Matthiessen, Campaign Director of Move NY, said: “We are excited to have the endorsement of the Metropolitan Taxicab Board of Trade, an important transportation advocacy group representing a large constituency with roots in all five boroughs. It’s not a given that the taxi industry would support this plan. But MTBOT’s enlightened views on the need for toll reform and traffic reduction provide further evidence of the diversity of support we have managed to muster.”
Sam Schwartz, the renowned traffic engineer who developed the Move NY Fair Plan said: “Yellow taxis play a critical role in the public transportation system. As a former yellow taxi driver I know firsthand how difficult it is for drivers to navigate this city and I have become increasingly concerned by the rapid growth of private and for-hire-vehicles in the Central Business District. I am worried that unchecked, too many of these vehicles will clog our streets and lower travel speeds to intolerable levels. We may end up with far more vehicles but far less mobility.”
Ron Sherman, President of the Metropolitan Taxicab Board of Trade said: “Move NY will not only enable our drivers and passengers to move more quickly through safer and less congested streets but the funding it will generate for the MTA will improve transit options for our 20,000 taxi drivers, mechanics, dispatchers and other hard working New Yorkers and their families who rely on subways and buses to get to our garages, to their homes and around the City. We see Move NY as an investment in our industry, our drivers, our passengers and in our City’s future.”
Mr. Sherman continued: “As one of the earliest endorsers of the Mayor’s Vision Zero commitment, MTBOT also believes that less congestion on our streets and bridges means a safer city.”
Yellow taxis are already the State’s largest direct private transportation sector contributors to the MTA, funding the agency to the tune of $90 million annually through a $.50 cent per fare surcharge that was implemented in 2009. Yellow taxis are highly efficient modes of transportation, with each double-shifted fleet taxi performing close to 60 trips per day. The Move NY plan is expected to generate an additional $225 million annually from metered taxicabs alone.
According to the Move NY Fair Plan, taxis will be exempt from congestion charges and tolls leading into the Central Business District and will instead be subject to a surcharge on the meter. Passengers will be able to get to their destinations faster and taxis will be able to better meet demand especially during rush hour and other peak traffic times. According to Move NY, total taxi trips will increase 5 trips per shift due to the reduction in traffic.
MTBOT joins numerous endorsers of the Move NY plan including leading environmental groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Environmental Defense Fund; transportation advocates like NYPIRG’s Straphangers Campaign; business groups like the Staten Island, Bronx and Manhattan Chambers of Commerce; as well as numerous labor, environmental justice and community groups across the five boroughs.
Move NY was recently endorsed and received widespread praise by the editorial boards of The New York Daily News, Crain’s NY Business, The New York Times, Newsday and The New York Post.
About Metropolitan Taxicab Board of Trade (MTBOT):
MTBOT was founded in 1952 and remains the oldest and largest yellow medallion taxicab advocacy organization representing fleets and owners of more than 5,500 yellow medallion taxicabs. MTBOT fleets are located in Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Manhattan and lease taxicabs to more than 20,000 drivers. MTBOT operates an innovative driver help center that provides free legal counsel and support services to current and prospective drivers out of its Long Island City headquarters. MTBOT fleets directly employ thousands of dispatchers, mechanics, managers, tow operators and other critical personnel necessary to moving New Yorkers and visitors every day.
About Move NY:
Move NY is a growing and diverse coalition of stakeholders representing many of the region’s business associations, trade unions, clergy, civic leaders, transportation and environmental advocates, good-governance organizations, and elected officials. Move NY’s mission is to build support for a master transportation plan developed by traffic guru “Gridlock” Sam Schwartz and the Move NY coalition. As envisioned, the Move NY Fair Plan will generate the revenues needed to make major investments in maintaining and modernizing New York City’s mass transit system, bridges and road network, bring toll equity to the region’s commuters and businesses, and reduce the grinding traffic congestion that plagues the metropolitan region, its people, and the economy that sustains them.