A New York state court has ruled that the city’s $1 billion plan to replace all cabs with Nissan minivans has breached the authority of the New York City Council. State Supreme Court Justice Shlomo Hagler has blocked Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration from implementing their “Taxi of Tomorrow” fleet, replacing the yellow cabs with the Japanese automaker’s vehicles.
The judge’s decision is based on the fact that he believes the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) overstepped its boundaries when they decided to pick Nissan as the exclusive provider of New York Cabs. He said they “went beyond its prescribed regulatory authority in the City Charter.” He cited the separation of powers doctrine that doesn’t allow the city council from giving its policy-making authority to the TLC. The lawsuit was brought by the Greater New York Taxi Association, representing hybrid and wheelchair-accessible cab owners, and also Evegny Friedman, one of the owners of a taxi cab fleet. One of their reasons for bringing up the lawsuit is that the Nissan minivans are not hybrid optional and wheelchair accessible. The council who represents the plaintiffs said that the court’s decision was just because the “mayor does not set social policy.”
A spokesman for Nissan said that they are “disappointed” with the decision of the court but are already looking at their next steps regarding the exclusivity contract with New York. City Corporation counsel Michael Cardozo said that they think the ruling is “fundamentally wrong” and that the TLC was well within its jurisdiction to make the decision. An official from Bloomberg’s administration meanwhile said they will appeal the judge’s ruling, but they are looking to get a decision in the next few months as the mayor’s three-term service is about to end.
[ via Jiji Press ]