According to a new report in the New York Post, Bloomberg was at Madison Square Garden’s private 1879 Club for a Knicks playoff game when he was approached by Taxi Club Management CEO Gene Friedman.
“I saw Bloomberg and his security there in the club, so I went over and said, ‘Tell me what is going on with the Taxi of Tomorrow?’” Freidman told the Post.
“He turns to me, and said, ‘Come January 1st, when I am out of office, I am going to destroy your f---ing industry.’"
If the account of the story is true (the Post claims to have another witness to the incident), it would seem the Mayor is angry over the failure of his "Taxi of Tomorrow" plan, which was blocked by a State Supreme Court judge last week.
Bloomberg's plan — the first major redesign of the NYC taxi system since the Checker cab, the New York Times reports — would have seen NYC's taxis replaced with Nissan NV200s featuring transparent roof panels and “lower-annoyance” horns.
The plan was blocked as it violated a New York City provision that requires a hybrid option. Friedman was one of many in the taxi industry who fought the plan. According to a profile from 2010, Friedman owns roughly 700 taxi medallions — over 5 percent of NYC's total and worth around $542.5 million at the time.