Every so often some big shot or committee of bog shots comes up with some harebrained scheme or other to be applied to New York's Yellow Taxi business.
Back in the days of cabbie hater and race baiter Mayor Edward I Koch (who was lampooned by Lee Wallace. in the 1988 Batman movie) an actual expert on the workings of the business, Professor Gorman Gilbert, was brought in to clean up the corrupt image projected by Koch's first Taxi Commissioner convicted felon Jay Turoff. The political establishment disliked the notion of a knowledgeable do-gooder supervising the taxi business and undertook to drive him out.
One thing they did was arm twist him into announcing that cabbies would be required to wear uniforms. The New York Daily News even sponsored a contest to choose the uniforms' design. A ridiculous non starter.
A bit later Gerald Cunningham, immortalized in the television sitcom Taxi moved his operation from the West Village to the South Bronx. There was a flurry of interest centered on the question of taxi service on the "Boogie Down" as the borough has been nick named.
Cunningham, ever the comedian, announced that he was recruiting Dubliners to drive his taxis, thereby bringing in an English speaking cohort made up of men who did not have preconceived notions about the borough's reputedly dangerous streets.
Former mayor Bloomberg periodically announced non starting hare brained ride share schemes.
All of these schemes enjoyed brief moments of being taken seriously by the machers, movers and shakers of our town.
So, I grinned when I saw a front page feature in today's am NEWYORK hand out newspaper.
HAILING HEROES Vets set to get jobs as NYC taxi drivers thanks to new program
You see, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are being recruited to drive yellow taxis. For the past 35 years or so it's been a rare event to hail a yellow cab that's piloted by an American, as most Americans, like most Dubliners, will not contemplate the combination of danger, low income, long hours and low status that come with a New York hack. license.
The featured veteran in the article, Peter Lloyd, is a native of Moscow. In the body of the article it's admitted that all of two applications are currently being processed under the program.