Media Coverage


Fate of Horse-Drawn Carriages in Balance  
Grace Rauh

A fight over the fate of the city's horse-drawn carriages, an enduring symbol of old New York, is descending on City Hall, with dueling bills bound for the City Council. A council member who represents parts of Queens, Tony Avella, said he wants to ban horse-drawn carriages in the city, while another council member of Queens, James Gennaro, said he wants to keep the industry alive by raising the rates drivers charge passengers. He also is calling for a fixed number of horse, stable, and carriage inspections each year. There are 220 licensed carriage horses, 293 certified drivers, and 68 licensed carriages in the city, according to the Horse and Carriage Association of New York, and carriage drivers, who haven't seen their fares increase since 1989, say they need a rate hike to stay competitive.

Mr. Avella and his supporters say horse-drawn carriages should have left the city long ago. Following an incident in which a spooked carriage horse died in September after running into a tree, animal rights activists began calling more vigorously for an end to the industry. Mr. Avella said he plans to introduce his bill to ban the carriages next month. An earlier proposal by Mr. Avella to restrict horse-drawn carriages to Central Park and the streets immediately around it stalled in City Hall, but he said he is optimistic he'll have better luck with the idea. "There have been more accidents, more horses have died, more horses have been put to sleep," he said. "This situation has to end." Mr. Gennaro's bill, which was introduced yesterday, would raise the rates drivers can charge passengers to $54 for the first 30 minutes of a ride from $34, according to a draft version of the bill. A spokeswoman for the horse and carriage association, which supports Mr. Gennaro's bills, Carolyn Daly, said people protesting the industry "aren't activists, they are extremists." "This is an industry that lives under a microscope," she said.

Coalition To Ban
Horse-Drawn Carriages

A Committee of the Coalition For New York City Animals, Inc.

The Coalition for
NYC Animals, Inc.

P.O. Box 20247
Park West Station
New York, NY 10025


To honor
Bobby II Freedom
previously known as Billy
ID# 2873 rescued by the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages and Equine Advocates on June 25, 2010 from the New Holland auctions.

In memory of
Lilly Rose O'Reilly
previously known
as Dada ID# 2711
R.I.P.August, 2007