The ruling on a lawsuit collectively brought against the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) by Uber, Lyft and Via, which seeks to halt implementation of the TLC’s FHV Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) rule, was supposed to be decided on May 25 – but the judge pushed the date back to June 7.
That is really cutting it close. If the judge rules in favor of allowing the TLC’s program to move forward, all FHV bases would be required to have an agreement in place with an approved WAV Dispatcher by the start of the pilot on June 20, 2018 – otherwise, bases without a WAV Dispatcher in place by June 20 would be required to start dispatching 5% of their trips in WAV vehicles starting on July 1, 2018, regardless of whether the customer requests one or not. That percentage increases each year, until reaching 25% of all trips in 2022.
The penalties for non-compliance are pretty steep and could lead to a base losing its license.
Considering the gravity of the situation and (potentially) the small window of time you’d have to secure a WAV Dispatcher, we highly recommend that you not wait, and choose one the following TLC-approved WAV Dispatchers:
A Ride for All, LLC
36-31 10th Street
Long Island City, NY 11106
636 W. 28th Street
New York, NY 10001
Endor Car & Driver, LLC.
31-00 47th Avenue
Long Island City
New York 11101
All Participating Bases that join the Pilot must also sign an MOU with the TLC. A representative of each Participating Base must sign the Attestation Form and submit their MOU through the WAV Dispatcher application.
If you have further questions, we recommend that you carefully read the TLC’s Frequently Asked Questions document about the Pilot for Prospective Participating Bases: www.nyc.gov/html/tlc/downloads/pdf/faq_fhv_accessibility_pilot_bases.pdf.
You can read the full text of the Pilot Resolution (PDF) here: www.nyc.gov/html /tlc/downloads/pdf/proposed_rule_fhv_central_dispatch.pdf
Any questions about the FHV Accessibility rules can also be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some Rare Good News for Drivers
If the above news has you a little rattled, let me offer a little good news, at least for the drivers in our industry. From everything I have been reading, New York’s City Council is planning to abandon their plan to restrict the number of bases TLC-regulated drivers can accept jobs from, as well as the proposed $2,000/year fee they were planning to charge drivers that perform work for what will likely be a new category of TLC-regulated bases: app-based services (aka Transportation Network Companies), like Uber and Lyft.
Industry representatives explained the tremendous burden the annual fee and base restrictions would have put on hard-working drivers, and fortunately City Council members took note. A slew of bills that were recently introduced will almost certainly be changed to reflect that fact and save drivers from new rules that would have been absolutely devastating to them.