The New York City taxi industry may prove a driving force in the upcoming mayoral election as cab owners; fleet managers, medallion brokers and other yellow cab industry members show their support for Democratic candidate Bill DeBlasio. In fact, the industry has already added $350,000 to his coffers, with the “biggest bundler” listed as Michael Woloz, a lobbyist for the metropolitan Taxicab Board of Trade.
Part of the reason for their support lies in the fact that DeBlasio (currently NYC’s public advocate) has been one of the most vocal opponents to a plan by outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan to introduce new lime-colored cabs to the outer boroughs as well as “underserved” upper Manhattan, which is viewed an “unwelcome invasion of yellow cab turf.”
“He’s for the people, you know, and the industry, and not just for taxi owners, but for drivers,” stated Sebastian Olszewaki, and executive of McGuiness Management Cabs. “Bloomberg did a lot of bad things for the taxi industry.
Although DeBlasio’s Republican opponent and fellow Brooklynite Joe Lhota has also come out against the Bloomberg plan he has only received 7% of the support that DeBlasio has. If elected, DeBlasio has said he would fire Taxi & Limousine Commission chief David Yassky.