Also troublesome: Carriage drivers are misrepresenting the number of drivers in the carriage trade, as the city's own records confirm and as reported previously by the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages, which has examined official records obtained directly from the city.
The carriage trade also misrepresents the number of drivers who belong to the Teamster union local, as well as the nature of this relationship. This union local primarily collects a lobbying fee.
The carriage drivers are duping the public and getting away with it because no one is calling them on this deceitful misrepresentation. In a court of law, this would be perjury. It is a cold and calculated strategy to deceive tourists and local residents, New York City politicians, and news media. Many of the local news media are on their side and support this desperate misinformation campaign, by manipulating and withholding the truth.
"Intro 573, the carriage ban bill, says nothing about electric touring cars," said Mary Culpepper, Vice President of the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages, an all-volunteer not-for-profit organization formed in 2006. "The Mayor and his administration know full well that the cars are much too expensive and would not be allowed in Central Park. Section 20-384.1 of the carriage ban bill discusses job retraining programs and green taxi medallions ― but not 'electric touring cars.' And the carriage drivers know full well that these cars are not in the bill."
The city maintains records of licenses and is the authority on the number of carriage drivers. Hyperbole should not enter into the discussion, the Coalition maintains.
There are 263 licensed drivers in the carriage trade, according to the Department of Consumer Affairs, as of March 24, and several of them are not actively working in New York City. Among this number are several living in other countries and working in other states. They hold on to the inexpensive license to build up their numbers.
As for all the drivers being Teamsters, not so ― according to an official and authoritative source, Teamster boss Demos Demopoulos, who gave the figure of roughly 120 members to Sarina Trangle in a recent City & State article.
In fact, this is less than half the number of licensed drivers. What it means is that this is not a union shop, and thus it does not provide any benefits to workers (ie, medical, vacation, sick days). Many of the workers are misclassified as consultants rather than as employees, and as such are not able to qualify for sick days under the new city law. This impacts government taxes and should be investigated.