Recent changes in medallion rules
The TLC approved new rules in the taxicab industry that provide greater flexibility to taxicab owners and allow greater financial incentives to the drivers of wheelchair-accessible taxicabs. The chart below illustrates these various changes, which will have significant benefits to the taxi industry, including a seven-year vehicle retirement schedule for all taxicabs, the opportunity to purchase used vehicles for all taxicab owners, and greater options in the types of vehicle that can be hacked-up as a taxi, including the Toyota Camry and Ford Fusion.

Among these changes will be our planned increase of payments to participating drivers of accessible yellow taxis from the Taxi Improvement Fund, which we anticipate jumping from $.50 to $1.00 for each completed trip.

Recent rule changes in the taxicab industry
– The TLC now has the flexibility to increase Taxi Improvement Fund (TIF) driver payments, based on the available funds. We anticipate increasing driver payments from $.50 to $1.00 for a completed trip in a wheelchair-accessible taxicab.

– Taxicab owners who are not required to purchase an accessible vehicle now have significantly more choice in the types of vehicles that can be hacked-up, including the Toyota Camry and Ford Fusion.

– A seven-year vehicle retirement schedule is being applied to all taxicabs. If your vehicle originally received less than seven years, its retirement date will be updated to reflect a seven-year retirement schedule.

– All taxicab owners will now be able to purchase used vehicles. These vehicles must pass both a hack-up and DMV inspection at the TLC’s Woodside Inspection Facility before being placed into service. The retirement date assigned to used vehicles being brought into service will be reduced by the age of the vehicle. (For instance, a model year 2016 Taxi of Tomorrow must retire five years after the vehicle is hacked-up.)

Financial benefits of driving a wheelchair-accessible taxicab
Wheelchair-accessible taxicab drivers play a crucial role in making our city more accessible to passengers with disabilities. There are also significant financial opportunities available to support accessible taxicab drivers, including grant money and “deadhead” money on citywide Accessible Dispatch trips. There also opportunities for fares through Access-a-Ride, a program that is now doing about 5,000 taxicab trips every weekday. These opportunities are listed in the table below

Accessibility Challenges
The City earned an important win for its accessibility rules this spring, when a New York federal judge rejected a preliminary injunction from several companies in the for-hire vehicle industry to block regulation that would require more wheelchair-accessible cars to be dispatched to riders. These important rules will go into effect on July 1, and will make the city’s transportation landscape far more equitable for passengers with disabilities. The TLC is still facing a legal challenge on our accessibility rules in New York County State Court, but we are confident that we will be successful there as well. The for-hire vehicle sector moves about 700,000 passengers a day, and accessible vehicles need to be fully in circulation and available to the riding public.

Until Next Time… 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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