The Taxi and Limousine Commission has approved new regulations that would allow up to 18,000 livery car owners to eventually pick up street hails in the outer boroughs and upper Manhattan.
The vote followed a public hearing held in Brooklyn on Thursday, and came two days after the Metropolitan Taxicab Board of Trade and five taxi medallion owners filed suit in New York County Supreme Court to stop the new rules.
The regulations will allow livery car owners, who right now are not permitted to take street hails anywhere in the city, to purchase permits to do so in northern Manhattan and the outer boroughs, which the TLC alleges are underserved by yellow cabs.
Owners of paratransit vehicles, such as ambulettes fitted to transport the handicapped, also may apply for the new permits.
The new permits would specifically bar livery cab drivers from picking up fares in the busiest parts of Manhattan or at Kennedy and LaGuardia airports.
Those areas will remain off limits to all but yellow medallion cabs.