Horse-drawn carriages might soon be a thing of the past if Bill de Blasio has his way. The mayor-elect recently vowed to end the use of hansom cabs in Central Park at a press conference announcing his schools chancellor pick, Carmen Farina. De Blasio and his supporters called the carriages an inhumane, cruel and outdated practice.
“We are going to get rid of the horse carriages. Period,” de Blasio said. “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, according to NBC New York. “They are not humane. They are not appropriate to the year 2014. It’s over.”
Along with plans to phase out horse-drawn carriages soon after taking office, de Blasio said he would work with existing drivers to set them up with alternative vehicles to ferry tourists around Central Park. Iconic horse carriage rides might be a tourist staple of visiting New York’s Central Park, but as we’ve previously reported, they raise many animal cruelty issues.
Overworked and exhausted horses have fallen in the middle of busy city streets and there have even been more serious cases such as one where autopsies revealed a horse continued to work despite suffering constant pain from a stomach ulcer and fractured tooth. As for what may replace the equestrian means of transportation, New York could move forward an era and introduce vintage electric cars that look like the old Ford Model T. If implemented, these electric cabs could bring new, safe, and clean transportation to thousands of park visitors.