High Praise for Driver Compliments

Every year, many professional drivers in New York City go above and beyond with acts of kindness for the riding public. Our agency has received about 400 compliments this year from passengers about TLC-licensed drivers, who received letters of commendation from me for their exemplary customer service. Drivers selflessly mail lost items to passengers in other states, find missing medicine, return forgotten passports to passengers before they even have a chance to notice and panic, and yes, even assist riders in bringing new babies into the world.

We are always very grateful when passengers take the time to tell about instances where a driver went above and beyond to provide a great ride. And we know that this represents only a portion – everyday there are thousands of instances of exceptional service from professional drivers. Thank you to TLC-licensed drivers for the difficult work they do all year as transportation professionals, as well as the riding public for sharing some of these stories.


Missing Japanese Scroll Painting Found

Speaking of compliments, I thought I would share an unusual story that happened this fall. A Japanese art collector, Wilson Grabill, was visiting New York City for Asia Week, a biannual celebration of Asian art. When he was changing hotels, he accidentally left a 19th-century Japanese scroll painting in a taxi. He also did not take his receipt, and paid in cash – making it trickier to track down the cab. Luckily, Mr. Grabill reported the lost painting to 311, and included details such as the time of the trip, as well as where he was picked up and dropped off.

The TLC’s Valerie Williams and intern Benzel McCellan then used that information to find his cab’s driver, Sayeed Quader, using the taxi’s GPS. Quader had found the painting, was eager to return it to Mr. Grabill, and kept it safe and sound. “I have a sense of relief and contentment,” he told the TLC about reuniting Mr. Grabill with the painting. “This was very important to the gentleman, and I am happy about it.”

We are very grateful to our Lost Property Unit, which helps so many passengers track down missing items each year, and to Mr. Quader for making sure the painting was safely returned. Never hesitate to contact 311 if you forget something in a taxi – we have a great team that is eager to help you!


Preparing your vehicles for winter…

Despite this roller-coaster weather we’ve been experiencing, make no mistake, winter is creeping up on us. Even if your vehicle is between inspections, it pays to have a mechanic give it a once-over to make sure that everything is ship-shape before there’s any snow on the ground!


Justice for Randolph Tolk

Before I close, I know you will all want to join me in taking a moment to send prayers and thoughts of strength and support to the family of driver Randolph Tolk, a TLC-licensed driver who was so tragically taken from us in November. We are thankful that the NYPD moved so quickly to find the individual who so mercilessly beat Mr. Tolk, and charge him in this senseless act of violence.

As always, drive like your family lives here!


Article by Meera Joshi

Meera Joshi is the Chair/Commissioner for the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission.

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