Incoming NY mayor says carriage trade will go

Incoming New York City mayor Bill de Blasio says he will press head with plans to end the city's Central Park carriage trade. Photo: Kevin Case
Incoming New York City mayor Bill de Blasio says he will press ahead with plans to end the city’s Central Park carriage trade. Photo: Kevin Case

New York City’s mayor-elect is promising to carry out a campaign pledge to bring the Big Apple’s horse-drawn carriage trade to an end.

Bill de Blasio, who takes office on New Year’s Day, says he will stop horse-drawn carriages plying their trade through Central Park.

De Blasio told a press conference on Monday: “They’re not humane. They’re not appropriate to the year 2014. It’s over. We are going to get rid of the horse carriages. Period.

“We are going to quickly and aggressively move to make horse carriages no longer a part of the landscape.”

The new mayor, who has not indicated a time-frame for the move, can expect a fight from the carriage trade.

The carriages are a tourist icon for the city, but opponents say the busy inner city is no place for horses, citing several incidents where horses have been injured.

Its backers argue the industry is well-regulated and the horses are well kept.

De Blasio has talked about replacing the horses and carriages with electric-powered antique cars to provide work for the drivers.

The new mayor may not find filling his pledge easy, with industry spokeswoman Christina Hansen telling local media that drivers were prepared to fight in court to keep the business going.

She told the New York Daily News: “It’s not over. You cannot just get rid of a business, a perfectly legal well-regulated … just because a few people don’t like it.

“If he wants to ban them because they’re dangerous and inhumane, he needs to prove that.

“Our record shows we take care of our horses and our horses are treated humanely.”

2 thoughts on “Incoming NY mayor says carriage trade will go

  • January 3, 2014 at 9:30 am

    Rubbish ! Provided the horses are properly cared for, and not overworked, I totally disagree with this Mayor’s plans. No WAY are cars of any interest to me.

  • January 8, 2014 at 7:32 am

    NYC Carriage Horses are overseen by multiple Public Agencies, including ASPCA who is on record as being AGAINST carriages in NYC. Do I see a Conflict of Interest here?

    Would you take this job?
    – 5 weeks vacation outside of NYC
    – Health Plan including Dental, Prescription and Podiatry
    – Guaranteed housing and an ample, balanced diet
    – 24 / 7 Security and Concierge Service (clean up, food and drive delivery to your residence)
    – Max 9 hour work day
    – No work but still guaranteed benefits, when temp is above 89 degrees or below 18 degrees

    That is what the carriage horses are GUARANTEED by Law.
    Who pays for this? The owner/ drivers of the horses.

    This is abuse?


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