Actor Liam Neeson: "Can't Put a Dollar Amount" on What NYC Carriage Rides Do for Tourism Industry

Monday, Mar 10, 2014  |  Updated 10:40 AM EDT
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"Taken" star Liam Neeson took on the role of activist Sunday, touring one of Manhattan's stables in support of the city's maligned horse-drawn carriage industry.

Neeson, who came out late last month against Mayor de Blasio’s proposal to replace the horses near Central Park with replica antique electric cars, went to the Clinton Park Stables on West 52nd Street Sunday along with members of city council and the Teamsters union.

“I know some of the drivers and I’ve seen the joy these tourists get,” Neeson said. “We can’t put a dollar amount on what that does for the tourist industry.”

The “Non-Stop” star went on to say that the horses are all well cared for and shouldn’t be replaced with electric cars, calling the carriages a “connection with our history.”

“This is an industry that’s been around since before Abraham Lincoln’s first inauguration,” he said.

Earlier on Sunday, de Blasio, who turned down an invitation to tour the stables with the “Taken” star, reiterated his intention to get the carriages off the busy Manhattan streets.

“Other cities around the world have banned the horse carriages, so I’m firm about the fact we have to make this move,” he said.

De Blasio said he does plan to tour the the city’s horse stables, but his intention in those visits will be to help carriage operators find new work.

“We want to work with the folks who operate those horse carriages and get them new opportunities in other types of related work,” de Blasio said. “For example, the antique replica cars that we want to establish as the alternative to the horse carriages, that’s a great employment opportunity for those same folks.”

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