The BCF Wins Third Annual Mitchell mPower Award

Hello to all. I hope that everyone has been enjoying the Fall so far. Thanksgiving and the December holidays will soon be upon us and then it will be Winter before we know it. October has been a busy and eventful month for us at The Black Car Fund, and there was also some news in the industry that I wanted to pass along to you. Let’s get right into it.

October started off strong with The Black Car Fund being announced as one of two winners of the Third Annual Mitchell mPower Awards. Over the past three years, Mitchell has used the mPower awards to highlight and recognize companies who are delivering better outcomes for their clients and customers through innovative usage of technology, models and business transformations. I have spoken many times about The Black Car Fund’s unique model, the only one of its kind in the United States. We are grateful to be recognized by Mitchell for the work we have done in providing workers’ compensation to independent contractors in the black car industry throughout New York.

At Mitchell’s annual Property and Casualty Conference in Boca Raton, our Executive Chairman, Berj Haroutunian, accepted the award on behalf of the Fund and was joined by a few more of our team members. Mitchell also put together a short story and video about us which can be seen at the following link.

It’s always an honor to win an award, but winning two in one month is of special note. Just a couple of weeks after receiving the mPower Award, The Black Car Fund was also awarded the 2019 Samuel Gompers Award by the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions (IAIABC). If you haven’t heard of Samuel Gompers, he was the first and longest serving president of the American Federation of Labor (AFL), and helped grow the organization from 50,000 members in 1886 to almost three million by 1924, changing the face of the American labor movement. The Fund received this award in recognition of our outstanding efforts “in improving the working conditions of the masses,” as Samuel Gompers would say. Improving the working conditions of our covered drivers and bringing them benefits that they wouldn’t have anywhere else in the country is what we do every day at The Black Car Fund.

With that said, I want to once again encourage everyone reading to start taking advantage of the benefits you are entitled to as a black car driver in New York. The telemedicine benefits will be especially useful in the coming winter months in order to nip illnesses in the bud and to save yourself and your family from having to take a trip to the doctor. Taking care of your vision is important too, so make sure to visit a GVS location or our Vision Van at the Cell Lot at JFK Airport to get your free vision exam and pair of glasses if you need!

All these benefits can be easily accessed by signing up for Drivers Benefits at https://driversbenefits.orgor by giving them a call at 1-833-814-8590.

October was also a busy month for the ground transportation industry. Many organizations held conferences and I was happy to attend The Transportation Alliance’s (formerly known as the Taxicab, Limousine and Paratransit Association, TLPA) Annual Conference and Expo in Las Vegas, called Mobilize 2019. Each year, this conference brings together people industry from across the country to learn about new and emerging technologies, practices and issues that affect the various sectors of the ground transportation industry. While every state in the U.S. and every sector of the industry has their own unique struggles, there are many issues that affect us as a whole and this conference is a great place to stay ahead of the curb and work towards common goals. I was also proud to be sworn in as a Vice President of the Transportation Alliance and look forward to continuing my work with them.

I’ll finish this month’s article by touching upon a report issued by the TLC that analyzed compliance with their new rules on wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAV) during the first six months since they went into effect in January of 2019. It showed that Uber has far and away proven to be the most successful in satisfying the WAV requirements. They also accounted for 84% of all the WAV trips made in this period. Also, while Lyft and Via had some corrective action needed to be taken to make them compliant, the issues they faced were not overly serious.

When it comes down to the numbers, this report truly substantiates the position taken by the FHV industry against the original 25% WAV mandate, showing that the actual usage does not warrant such an arduous requirement, which would have devastated struggling traditional bases.

The full report can be read here:

As always, thank you for reading and please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have questions or would like to learn more about The Black Car Fund and the benefits we offer to black car drivers throughout New York. Until next time!

Article by Ira Goldstein

Ira Goldstein is Executive Director of the New York Black Car Fund, Chief Operating Officer of the Black Car Assistance Corporation and Treasurer of the Coalition of Transportation Associations.

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