On August 7, the Independent Drivers Guild (IDG) hosted a well-deserved Driver Appreciation Day for the For-Hire Vehicle (FHV) drivers who have kept – and continue to keep – New York City moving during one of the most trying times in our nation’s history. The event brought together thousands of drivers and family members for a barbecue and fun activities.
When NYC became the epicenter of America’s coronavirus outbreak in the spring of 2020, FHV drivers were the HEROES who stepped up and transported hospital workers and other essential personnel. We salute them for their hard work then – and their continuing commitment to the city and its citizens and visitors as Fall approaches and the Delta variant spreads through the city and around the world.
Well aware that FHV drivers often keep extremely busy schedules, the IDG arranged for an NYC Vaccine Van to be at the August event, held at Forest Park in Woodhaven, Queens. Drivers and their families were paid $100/person for anyone receiving their first vaccine dose. Attendees were able to choose from single shot (J&J) and double shot (Pfizer) options.
A MetroPlus Health Benefits Van and Drivers Benefits Vision Van were also onsite, allowing drivers and their families to sign up for free or low-cost health insurance, vision, dental and telemedicine benefits.
Together with The New York Back Car Fund (NYBCF), the IDG has been one of the leading voices for the health and safety of FHV drivers and their passengers, both before and during the Coronavirus pandemic. In the early months of the pandemic, they worked quickly with partners to secure and distribute safety kits to more than ten thousand drivers, amid a worldwide shortage of masks and sanitizer. They also successfully advocated for a ban on pool rides, a mask mandate for riders and drivers, compensation for sick and high-risk drivers, and COVID-19 safety training through a partnership with the NYU School of Global Public Health.
At Black Car News, we would like to commend NYC’s FHV drivers for their courage and hard work during these troubled times… as well as the IDG, the NYBCF and their partners for their efforts to help keep our city’s heroes safe and healthy!