Greetings from the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission.
On December 1, the TLC held its Seventh Annual Safety Honor Roll Ceremony, virtually. The event may be viewed online at nyc.gov/tlc, or on the TLC’s YouTube channel.
411 TLC-Licensed Drivers were honored for their safety records and for serving as models for all drivers on the road. The TLC recognized the 25 safest TLC-Licensed Businesses, which included five Yellow Taxi Fleets and 20 Community Car Service Bases, which demonstrated innovation in promoting a safe driving culture among their TLC-Licensed Drivers as well as their strategies for incentivizing safety.
21 Drivers who were named as Accessibility Leaders for their dedication to the City’s Accessible Dispatch Program, which provides on-demand access to Yellow and Green Taxis anywhere in the five Boroughs, were celebrated. Finally, the 25 TLC-Licensed Drivers who delivered the most meals through the Emergency Food Delivery Program developed this past spring in response to the pandemic were acknowledged. The TLC is incredibly grateful to the more than 10,000 Drivers who participated, using Taxis, Black Cars, Livery Cars, and family cars to deliver 65 million meals to 720,000 households and 1.3 million New Yorkers—a number that amounts to 15% of all New York City residents.
On December 2, the TLC voted and approved processes that give TLC-Licensed Drivers additional rights and protections if a Licensee is arrested for a suspected crime, and that clarify and strengthen existing summary suspension practices. Most TLC-Licensed Drivers are law-abiding citizens that work serving the public, and it is extremely rare for a TLC-Licensed Driver to be arrested for a suspected crime. However, in interest of public safety, the TLC automatically suspends TLC License when such an arrest is made for a suspected crime. The suspensions are temporary while the Licensee receives their due process.
TLC-Licensed Drivers have the right to challenge suspensions before an Administrative Law Judge. The proposed rules specify various factors that an Administrative Law Judge can consider whether to assess whether a suspended driver poses a public safety risk. The Administrative Law Judge will now make a more individualized review and examine the Licensee’s history holistically, including criminal history and driving record, community standing, the specifics of the alleged crime, and anything else that would support lifting the suspension.
The new rules also allow TLC Licensees to request a Summary Suspension Hearing any time after a suspension and create shorter timelines for the Administrative Law Judge’s written recommendation, and for the issuance of a decision. The rule changes will benefit the small number of TLC-Licensed Drivers who face summary suspension by affording them additional rights and a faster decision. The result for most will be that they can drive for-hire more quickly. TLC Commission also voted and approved rules that will increase the number of Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles on the road by expanding the pool of vehicles eligible to receive money from the Taxi Improvement Fund. The Taxi Improvement Fund provides money to help Medallion Owners with the costs of purchasing 2
and maintaining Yellow Taxis. It also provides a $1 per trip payment to TLC-Licensed Drivers of Wheelchair Accessible Yellow cabs.
The Commission also approved rules to allow the TLC to formally align its regulations with City Council legislation that was passed on August 14, 2018 and that went into effect on November 12, 2018. The Local Law, LL151 of 2018, reduced some penalties for unauthorized street hails.
As a reminder, TLC has increased Enforcement below 96th Street. Penalties for illegal street hails remain significant and are $500 for the first illegal street hail violation, $750 for the second violation, and a third violation results in license revocation. The adopted rules were merely a formality since TLC’s rules did not reflect the requirements of LL151.
Finally, the new rules to allow some FHV Bases to continue to pay drivers in accordance with pre-existing agreements were approved and will broaden the type of base operating model to include both coops and franchises.
E-ZPASS AND TOLLS REMINDER
As a reminder to all TLC Licensees using an E-ZPass, you can prepay your tolls through contactless payment, and eliminate the need to stop at a toll plaza. E-ZPass offers discount toll prices, discount plans, and different options for parking fees–drivers can load money to pay for regular airport parking (not for parking in hold lots). E-ZPass is also required for all Yellow and Green Taxis. To protect yourself from potential fines, it is very important to ensure your E-ZPass is connected to a working credit card, bank account, or is currently pre-paid. If you prefer to receive tolls by mail, please make sure the address for the vehicle owner is current. If you lease your car, make sure to communicate with the vehicle owner about how tolls will be paid. If they are not paid, the vehicle owner will accrue significant fines that could be passed onto you. The best way to avoid fines and potential vehicle registration is to obtain and E-ZPass that is properly maintained and/or pay all tolls as soon as possible. If you have any questions, please call 1-800-333-8655, or visit their website at E-Zpassny.com.
DRIVER RESOURCE CENTER
The TLC Driver Resource Center has been officially open for over six months now, offering remote financial counseling, legal services, public benefit application support, and driver protection services. To date, over 700 individual TLC-Licensed Drivers have been served.
The TLC Legal Services Team has also opened over 500 cases related to Medallion Owner driver loans and collections, with most clients receiving assistance in debt reduction, education on consumer rights, and help with creating a plan to maximize income. Those interested in these services can schedule an appointment at https://portal.driverresourcecenter.tlc.nyc.gov/.
The TLC Licensing Division has begun issuing the newly designed DMV Excelsior YC plates. The blue and white plates feature images from around New York State, including the Statue of Liberty, which will be nice to see on TLC-plated vehicles throughout New York City.
Aloysee Heredia Jarmoszuk
Commissioner and Chair
NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission
33 Beaver Street, New York, NY 10004