It’s getting easier to catch a cab in Lower Manhattan.
Downtown Alliance President Elizabeth H. Berger joined Taxi & Limousine Commission Commissioner David Yassky, J&R President Rachelle Friedman and League of Mutual Taxi Drivers Managing Director Vincent Sapone to formally launch a new taxi relief stand on Park Row in frigid Lower Manhattan Wednesday morning.
“Introducing the second taxi relief stand in Lower Manhattan will not only give drivers a place to take a break and get a free cup of coffee, but it will also bring more cabs Downtown. It’s really a win-win for everyone,” Berger said. “Add improved cab service to the reasons why Lower Manhattan—with 12 subway lines, 30 local and express bus routes and the PATH train—has the best transit connections in New York City.”
League of Mutual Taxi Drivers Managing Director Vincent Sapone, J&R Music & Computer World President Rachelle Friedman, Alliance for Downtown New York President Elizabeth H. Berger and TLC Commissioner David Yassky.
“Driving a taxicab is a tough job, and any opportunity to take a break and use a cabbie-friendly business’ restroom is something that drivers will appreciate as much as New Yorkers appreciate their service,” Yassky said. ”I predict that this stand, like the many others, will prove popular with drivers and we are grateful for J&R’s generous welcoming gesture of free coffee.”
The stand—located outside of J&R Music and Computer Word on the east side of Park Row between Ann and Beekman Streets—was designated in conjunction with the New York City Department of Transportation.
Three spots have been designated as taxi relief spots for drivers to park for up to an hour for a break, or to use the restrooms or get coffee inside J&R’s new second-floor café.
“Now there’s another reason why downtown has something for everyone,” Friedman said. “On behalf of J&R, I would like to thank the New York City Department of Transportation, Taxi and Limousine Commission and Alliance for Downtown New York for working to bring this amenity to Park Row. This spot will provide a respite for our hardworking taxi drivers citywide, give them a chance to take a break, use our restrooms, and even get a free cup of great-tasting Danesi coffee in our new J&R Café.”
“A place for drivers to park, use the restroom and get a free cup of coffee? It’s unheard of!” Sapone said. “Thanks to J&R for making this happen.”
The Park Row stand is the 43rd taxi relief stand in Manhattan and 59th overall. The other stand in Lower Manhattan is on South Street between Wall Street and Gouverneur Lane.
This isn’t the first time the Alliance has worked to bring more cabs Downtown. In 1997, the organization opened two Catch-A-Cab stands—one at Peter Minuit Plaza and one at the World Trade Center. Both offered free coffee and doughnuts to drivers, and both closed after the 9/11 attacks in 2001.
Nearly a decade later, Lower Manhattan is back, and so are the cabs.