NEW YORK - The state's highest court has unanimously upheld a new law allowing livery drivers to pick up street hails in the outer boroughs and northern Manhattan.

The Court of Appeals ruling will allow the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) to sell 18,000 new permits to livery cabs, and authorizes the city to sell 2,000 new yellow cab medallions. It puts to rest claims by yellow medallion cab drivers that the new law is unconstitutional.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg released a statement saying in part, "We can finally bring safe, reliable taxi service to the four and a half boroughs that don't currently have it. That's a victory for everyone who lives in, works in or visits New York City."