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Putting the brakes on New York's outer-borough taxi plan

To Mayor Michael Bloomberg's disappointment, don't expect to see these new green taxis on the streets anytime soon.

Those hoping for more taxis in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx may have to wait a bit longer.

A New York state judge issued a temporary restraining order Friday blocking New York City from selling $1 billion worth of taxi medallions.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg got the state to approve his plan to sell 2,000 more medallions along with 18,000 licenses to drivers who would serve the city's outer boroughs. The outer-borough taxis would be a pistachio green color, to distinguish them from yellow cabs, and would not be allowed to make street pick-ups in Manhattan.

Bloomberg introduced what the new green taxis would look, above, like in April.

Albany approved the plan after the Democrat-led City Council rejected Bloomberg's proposal.

The auctions for the new medallions were supposed to begin in July.

But State Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron ruled in favor of the taxi cab owners who sued, and said the matter should have been worked out in the City Council, and not in the state Legislature.

The judge said in his decision: "The Court has trouble seeing how the provision of taxi service in New York City is a matter that can be wrenched from the hands of City government, where it has resided for 75 years, and handed over to the State."

Michael Cardozo, the city's corporation counsel, in a statement, said he was considering an appeal of the decision. "We think the court was mistaken in its analysis."

Engoron's ruling also blows a hole in Mayor Michael Bloomberg's $68.7 billion budget plan.

New York City's new budget starts on July 1, and fiscal monitors have warned that Bloomberg's medallion plan was a risky way to balance the budget.

 
 
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