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Taxi stands may help alleviate gypsy cab problems

New car service for Bay Plaza

Bronx Times

Gypsy cabs, look out.

A car service should coming to Bay Plaza soon.

Best Deal Car Service owner Albert Williams said the company has applied for a license with the Taxi & Limousine Commission to operate three taxi stands at the Bay Plaza shopping center near Co-op City.

Currently, the shopping center has a problem with unlicensed cars operating as cabs for shoppers.

“It’s a free-for all,” said Community Board 10 district manager Ken Kearns, about gypsy cabs trying to pick up people in front of the big stores there.

The presence of a legitimate car service in the shopping center should curb the number of gypsy cabs who operate there, Kearns said.

Although Best Deal’s proposal has not yet come before the community board, Kearns said the board is likely to support it. The initial pitch was well received by the board’s Municipal Services Committee. The committee also supports the expansion of Prestige Car Service adding a radio base at Westchester Square.

Williams said the plans for Bay Plaza include a 24-hour dispatch booth outside of the Pathmark Supermarket, with a taxi stand, a dispatcher and a stand outside Kmart during their open hours, and a dispatcher with a stand outside the movie theater Thursday afternoon through Sunday. There are also plans to expand service to the new shopping mall there when it opens later this year.

Williams said he wants to provide safe and reliable transportation for Bay Plaza customers.

“We want to make so much of a presence that we get rid of the gypsy cabs,” he said.

Williams said customers should choose TLC licensed vehicles because they know the cars have been inspected and the driver submitted to drug tests.

“You know the persons you’re getting into a vehicle with has been somewhat vetted,” Williams said.

Community Board 10 chair John Marano said people should be careful about what type of cab they’re getting into.

“Some people don’t have the knowledge of what makes one cab legal and another cab illegal,” he said.

The only cabs that can legally be hailed on the street are official New York City taxis, yellow throughout the city and green in the outer boroughs. All others cars-for-hire must be requested through a dispatcher.

Bay Plaza property manager Matthew Lucchese also agreed that Bay Plaza has a need to provide safe and secure transportation for shoppers, and that he hopes the application is approved by the TLC soon.

“I’m hoping to have them in there yesterday.”

Reach Reporter Jaime Williams at (718) 742–3383. E-mail her at jwilliams@cnglocal.com.

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