Hurricanes Irma and Harvey
We at the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission felt devastated watching the destruction of Hurricane Irma and Harvey unfold in Florida, Texas, and the Caribbean. To our licensees who have families affected by Hurricane Irma and Harvey, or are originally from those areas, please know that the Taxi and Limousine Commission and the City of New York are with you. Members of the NYPD and FDNY, for instance, have been deployed to storm-ravaged areas to provide medical care and other assistance. Sadly, New York City experienced its own trauma almost five years ago with Hurricane Sandy, so the memory of such devastation is particularly fresh for us all and we stand with you and your loved ones during this deeply challenging time.
We are very excited at the TLC about welcoming our first participant to the Fair Share pilot program, which gives taxi drivers the opportunity to lease on a percentage-based commission. Brooklyn-based New York City Taxi Group is the first garage to join our pilot program, and we are eagerly anticipating others joining them. Rather than starting the work day in the hole and paying a large amount at the beginning of their shift, drivers give the garage a percentage of what they have earned. They can also choose the hours they want to work, and work only a few hours if they have family or other obligations, such as school or child care.
“I can work for as little as two to three hours and still make money,” Aziz Nizomov, a driver participating in the pilot, recently told the TLC. Aziz is a part-time college student in Brooklyn, and his schedule makes it difficult to lease a taxi for 12 hours. “This is fair for me, the garage, and everyone, I love it,” he said. “I am saving more, and it is very affordable. There is no more stress.”
We are gratified that drivers like Aziz are enjoying the benefits of flexible leasing, and are able to earn money without the risk of not making their lease. If you are a medallion owner or agent who is interested in taking part, you can take visit this section of the TLC website: http://www.nyc.gov/html/tlc/html/industry/lease_pilot.shtml.
Outside of the pilot, it is worth noting that New York City Taxi group’s app Lacus also lets drivers find and lease a taxi through keyless entry, saving them the time of traveling to a garage, and deposits money directly onto drivers’ personal accounts. Some drivers spend several hours a day traveling to their garage and back following a shift, and this may help them free up a considerable amount of time to spend with their families and get more rest. We are always pleased to see innovation in the industries we regulate that improves the lives of our licensees, and look forward to seeing the benefits of this unfold.
We wanted to share with you some important information about driving in Midtown. During the summer, the City began to allow right turns at almost 30 intersections where turning was previously banned.
The intersections, shown in the map (right), include 60th, 54th, 53rd, 50th, 49th, 46th, 45th, 37th, and 36th Street in eastern Midtown. You can now turn right on those corners, and we wish you smoother travels in Midtown.
Back to school
The change in seasons brings with it not just a change in the weather, but also a change in the movement of people on our streets. Fall, of course, means that children go back to the classroom, and with that comes many children traveling to and from school. Please continue to be a great steward of our City’s Vision Zero plan, and stay vigilant for children crossing the street– particularly at dusk or in the evenings. Professional drivers help set the tone of New York City’s streets, and we appreciate your hard work in making our streets a safe place for children to travel to school, home, and within their communities. We know that regardless of the neighborhood, you drive like your family lives here, and we appreciate your diligence and care during the upcoming school year.
Vision Zero Safety Honor Roll
Some of the City’s best drivers are licensed by the TLC, and we look forward to honoring their accomplishments at our fourth Vision Zero Safety Honor Roll. Our honorees will include drivers and bases with outstanding safety records, as well as drivers who have worked very hard to provide mobility to passengers with disabilities. We will also honor the customer service achievements of drivers who have gone above and beyond to help passengers. We look forward to seeing you on October 11!
As always, drive like your family lives here!