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De Blasio: Carriage ban effort will seek new jobs for drivers

In this file photo, horse-drawn carriage roll through

In this file photo, horse-drawn carriage roll through New York's Central Park. Credit: AP/Mary Altaffer, File

Mayor Bill de Blasio Thursday said securing alternative employment for Central Park's horse-drawn carriage drivers will be a priority if his long-promised ban on the industry is realized.

The electric vintage-style vehicles proposed by animal rights activist group New Yorkers for Clean, Livable, and Safe Streets to ferry tourists around with former carriage drivers behind the wheel are a "great alternative" to provide "continuity economically," he said at an unrelated news conference in the Bronx.

He acknowledged, however, that "There's work to be done to see if we can get all the logistics worked out."

Opponents have raised questions on whether the vehicles would meet required safety standards and doubts that they would appeal to tourists.

De Blasio said the City Council would receive horse-carriage ban legislation to consider "very, very soon that's going to represent our vision of how to solve this problem."

He added that "We want to make sure, of course, there are employment opportunities for the folks who currently do the work."

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