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New York's new outer borough taxis will be green

Look for these cars to hit outer borough streets as early as June.

Say hello to the new outer borough taxi cab, which will be a lovely shade of pistachio — or apple — green.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Taxi and Limousine Commission unveiled the official color for the new "boro taxis" this morning. Look for these pale green cabs to be cruising for street hails in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island as early as late June. They'll also be in Manhattan, north of East 96th and West 110th streets.

The new cabs will be licensed to pick up street hails and will be confined to New York's outer boroughs, and northern Manhattan, only.

Prior to this, yellow cabs were the only cars licensed to make street pickups, but they were rarely seen outside Manhattan's main business district, to the anger of many a New Yorker. As a result, residents in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx often flagged down black livery cars, a practice that is illegal and can result in steep fines for the livery car driver. The TLC estimates that more than 100,000 illegal livery car hails take place every day.

“The new Apple Green vehicles will bring thousands of hard-working livery drivers out of the shadows,” said Bloomberg today.

According to the mayor, some seven million New Yorkers who live outside Manhattan will benefit from the outer borough taxicabs.

The TLC will make a total of 18,000 boro taxi permits available, with the first of three annual batches of 6,000 to be issued starting in June.

The idea of outer borough taxis was first proposed by Bloomberg and required a change in state law. It became law in February. The city said the cabs would have a new color to be distinct from both yellow cabs and black livery cars.

“Apple Green is very fitting for the new Boro Taxis,” said TC Commissioner David Yassky. “It’s pleasing to the eye, easy to see from a distance and blends well with the urban landscape.”

The new green taxis will be similar to yellow cabs, in that the vehicles will be equipped with credit card machines, roof lights that will signal whether they are available or not, and taximeters to standardize the fare.

The new cabs will also be equipped with GPS devices, in part to make sure they’re only doing pickups outside of Manhattan’s Central Business District. If green cab drivers are caught picking up street hails in Manhattan, they face fines, according to the TLC. Drivers will be fined $350 for the first offense, $500 for second and will lose their license if they're caught a third time.