[Ed. – But can they go faster than 25 miles an hour?]
But now, the city’s 220 horse-drawn hansom cabs could be headed in the same direction as the Knickerbocker telephone exchange and the B. Altman’s department store.
New York’s new mayor, Bill de Blasio, insists that carriages that typically carry passengers through the hills and valleys of the park and along streets as far south as 34th Street have got to go. They are inhumane and outdated, he says.
“We are going to quickly and aggressively move to make horse carriages no longer a part of the landscape in New York City,” de Blasio said during a Dec. 30 press conference at a middle school. “They’re not humane. They’re not appropriate to the year 2014. It’s over. So just watch us do it now.”
The mayor wants to replace the horses and carriages with electric cars that have a vintage appearance, a move that de Blasio says will be good for the environment and help the drivers stay employed. …
The drivers say the mayor and NYCLASS are way off base and that removing the horses and carriages would be like stripping the city of part of its personality. The rides, which cost about $165 for 45 minutes or $50 for 20 minutes, are on many tourists’ bucket lists, they said. Many people get engaged in the carriages, and celebrities from athletes to Dr. Phil have made it a point to take a ride when in New York, they said.