We hope you enjoy a happy and safe holiday season with your family, friends and community, and that you have a wonderful year ahead! Here is the latest news from our wheelhouse.

New TLC Police Officers

One major complaint we often hear from licensees is that illegal operators are taking business from TLC-licensed drivers and businesses. Too often, unlicensed drivers take away trips – and thus valuable income – from drivers who have taken the time to meet the TLC’s standards, including driver education, drug testing and having their record vetted for safety. Unlicensed drivers also put the public at risk, since they have not been properly vetted, and may not have commercial insurance.

A TLC enforcement car.

We are very pleased to share that we graduated a new class of TLC Police Cadets this fall. These new officers will significantly increase the TLC’s field presence, which is critical to stopping hustlers at the airports, taking action against illegal commuter vans and deterring unlicensed operators.

There is also significant cultural diversity among the new TLC officers, who will help protect the livelihoods of many immigrant licensees. Thirteen of our officers are first-generation immigrants, born in countries including Bangladesh, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Guyana, Cuba, Trinidad, England, Ecuador and the Philippines.

We are glad to welcome them as our colleagues and know they will have a positive impact on the streets of New York.

A Great Way to Earn More

If you are a yellow or green wheelchair accessible taxi driver, don’t forget to sign up for the Taxi Improvement Fund (TIF) Driver Program. As of mid-November, almost 5,000 TLC-licensed drivers earned about $12 million in 2019, up from $8.5 million last year.

Any driver of a wheelchair accessible taxi can enroll. Once you are a part of the program, you earn an additional $1 for every trip taken, regardless of duration. All trips qualify, regardless of whether a passenger is using a wheelchair.

TLC staff member Yesenia Torres enters a wheelchair-accessible taxi.

Once you earn $20 or more in a two-week period, you will be paid through a Taxi Improvement Fund debit card. If you are interested, make sure to enroll as soon as possible at http://bit.ly/TaxiImprovementFund. You will receive the money for trips after you enroll, not past trips.

Congestion Rules and Licensing Pause

The rules we passed last summer are pivotal to decreasing congestion in the busiest parts of Manhattan, as well as removing the race to the bottom of adding about 2,000 new for-hire vehicle cars a month, which was depressing the income of professional drivers. Some of the largest app companies have challenged our rules in court, seeking to flood our streets again with new cars.

Last month, a Manhattan judge threw out a suit from Uber challenging the cap. It followed other legal victories the City has had this year, including against a lawsuit filed by Lyft and Juno, who did not want to meet a minimum pay standard for drivers on trips.  We are pleased the courts continue to recognize the TLC’s power to address the different problems the apps created when they oversaturated the market. We will continue to fight better for drivers and less congestion on our streets.

Sharing the Street Safely

A great way to keep fellow New Yorkers safer is to watch for cyclists when opening vehicle doors – and remind passengers to do the same. An easy way to do this is to use your far hand, reach across your body, then turn and look before exiting the vehicle. When you use your far hand to open the car door, you automatically look out and scan for bikes and traffic. This move can save lives and prevents injuries.

A driver scans for cyclists as he opens his door.

If you want to learn more Vision Zero safety tips, you can watch our Safety First video at bit.ly/safetyfirsttlc.

Article by Black Car News

Black Car News provides breaking news, editorial, and information to drivers, owners, and other key players in the New York City for-hire vehicle industry.

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