New York may soon end up without its famous horse-drawn carriages, if the city’s new mayor, Bill de Blasio, has his way. He announced in the campaign prior to his election that it would definitely be one of the bullet points on his to do list in office.
The second phase of the plan is designed to fill the gap and not rob tourists of the opportunity for slow rides through the city. Thus, the carriages will be replaced with electric cars designed after those built close to the end of the 19th century.
Naturally, the carriage drivers are not pleased, and fully deny allegations of horse abuse. They say only three horses have died in service over the last 30 years, and that all of them get five weeks’ vacation every year which is more than the large majority of the American working class gets; there are around 220 of them in active duty at the moment.
It’s not a foregone conclusion yet, though, and both the mayor and his legal advisers, as well as the carriage drivers will not back down – there is a very high likelihood of this matter ending up in court (multiple times).
However, aside from the slight break with tradition, the move to old and slow EVs is definitely not a bad way to end it, and could in fact be a welcome change – the same carriage drivers could be the hired to operate the cars.
By Andrei Nedelea
Opening Photo CarScoopS/John Halas