COALITION PILOT PROGRAM CODIFIED AS LAW, TLC ENFORCEMENT ON FHV WAV COMPLIANCE SUSPENDED
Through a coordinated effort, the Article 78 petition brought against the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) in New York Supreme Court has prevailed, and has resulted in settlement terms which are favorable to the entire FHV Industry, according to a press release from the Black Car Assistance Corporation.
The settlement suspends both implementation and enforcement action of the TLC’s FHV WAV rule, until such time that the NYC TLC Board of Commissioners can convene, vote on and approve of the settlement reached in court by NYC TLC representatives. (The rule had been set to go into effect July 1.)
The victory was achieved by litigation brought against the TLC by the FHV Coalition, and the pressure put on the TLC in Albany, with state legislators pushing for the passage of a bill that would have taken authority away from the TLC to implement and enforce such an “unreasonable mandate.” Reached June 13, the settlement can be read in its entirety here: https://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/fbem/DocumentDisplayServlet?documentId=sDwEhLSjaEg4bYpursuyng==&system=prod
The settlement will now be an official and permanent alternative path to FHV accessibility service compliance, in the form of the FHV Coalition pilot program being codified into rule making. The 25% mandate still remains (to be reached by 2023) – however, only if a base chooses not to utilize and contract with an Accessible Vehicle Dispatcher or AVD (previously referred to as a WAV-D) to fulfill service requests. The BCAC was able to successfully negotiate a nominal cost of $0.02 per accessible ride.
It is also key to note that under the terms of the settlement, the number of AVDs will no longer be limited to three, but instead will be open to all applicants who meet NYC TLC criteria for approval, as long as an AVD has service contracts with at least 10 bases. According to the BCAC, this creates a framework for new and increased competition (albeit, conditional on the BCAC’s follow-through).
“I would like to formally take this time to thank BCAC Executive Director, Ira Goldstein, for his tireless efforts; seeing to it that our industry is protected, as always,” said Berj Haroutunian, BCAC Chairman of the Board. “His dedication to the BCAC and our industry truly knows no bounds, as made clear by his recent countless 24-hour days. Thanks must also be given to various other participants, such as our wonderful team of lobbyists, who worked diligently to advance the state legislation leading up to the Article 78 settlement, as well as our General Counsel, Wayne Baden, for all of his outstanding work. And finally, to Shafquat Chaudhary, President of Elite Limousine Plus, Inc., who took an entire day out of his busy schedule to visit Albany with the BCAC legislative team to lobby for our best interests.”
For more information, visit: www.nybcac.org.