First, the good news: It appears the cap may be lifted on a limited number of new for-hire vehicle licenses. Rumor has it, the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) is expected to allow additional FHV licenses for Electric Vehicles (EVs) and drivers who held licenses for 10 years or more, who were forced to exit the industry during Covid for financial reasons.
Taxi and high-volume for-hire vehicle drivers are also expected to get a bump in pay – a topic that will be discussed at the TLC’s Oct. 6 meeting. (View past and present TLC meetings here: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/tlc/about/commission-meetings.page.)
The taxi fare increase would be the first in a decade and should amount to an average increase of 23% in yellow and green taxi fares. As they say, “a rising tide lifts all boats,” so the entire industry should celebrate these fare increases, regardless of the type of TLC license you hold. With so many challenges ahead, ALL DRIVERS need to join forces and stand together to fight, when necessary, and celebrate one another’s victories, when appropriate.
Historically, there has been plenty of mistrust between the different segments of the industry – but as the overwhelming majority of TLC-licensed drivers are facing down the prospect of a devastating congestion pricing tax, it is my sincere hope that all segments will band together to fight for the survival of the industry at large.
Experts say that some of the congestion pricing fee models could reduce the number of rides in the Central Business District (CBD) by up to 50%!
Industry leaders, attorneys and lobbyists can only do so much, if city government is clinging to the idea of levying a crushing tax on hard-working drivers, who have endured so much uncertainly and devastation in recent years. Please join one of the many driver associations and encourage the groups to work together – whether it’s the Independent Drivers Guild, Justice for App Workers, NYC Rideshare Club, Black Car Mafia, UzBER, Long Island Uber and Lyft Network, or the NYC Drivers Unite, just to name a few.
Stand up! Be heard! Professional drivers could be part of the solution for reducing gridlock in the CBD, but many city leaders are wearing blinders if they can’t see that – and even worse, some refuse to comprehend the absolute devastation congestion pricing would bring for so many NYC TLC-licensees.
On a final note: In a sign of the times, I was forced to shut down my other publication, Taxi & Livery Time this month, but will be incorporating the news from those segments into Black Car News moving forward. You may also have noticed we have gone back to print this month, for the first time since Covid struck. Like the industry itself, we are hoping it will be sustainable in the months and years ahead.
If you are an advertiser looking to get back in the paper, a driver looking to pick up physical copies moving forward or a company in the five boroughs who would like the paper delivered to their location, please reach out to me directly at 856.751.0656 or firstname.lastname@example.org.