You probably noticed that the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) once again extended the moratorium on new For-Hire Vehicle licenses, and again ignored the pleas of traditional Black Car and Livery bases that are losing ground by the day. Work is coming back, but these bases don’t have enough drivers to cover it.
It doesn’t make sense. The traditional bases weren’t responsible for the moratorium being put in place; it was only necessary after High-Volume FHV’s were given free rein to run amok, devastating FHV companies that had been serving the city’s citizens and tourists for decades.
I applaud the TLC for throwing a lifeline to people struggling under Taxi medallion debt, but that only proves the city can move mountains when it wants to. The traditional bases aren’t asking to have mountains moved – just a modest number of additional “limited” vehicle licenses to serve their customers. It just doesn’t make sense that small businesses should be hamstrung – unable to service new accounts – because of the misdeeds of venture-capital-fueled goliaths and city officials who refused to act until it was too late.
The TLC could just do it. City Council could do it. Mayor Adams already said on multiple occasions he supports the idea. So, what’s the hold up?
BTW: I noticed that Uber was approved to add Taxi apps to their platform because they needed drivers. Sworn enemies were able to join forces so Uber could better serve its clients and Taxi drivers will hopefully get a boost, although I’m not so sure about the second part.
How about the Taxi companies? Will they survive this? Hopefully, whoever takes over Chair at the TLC steps up and gives the traditional segments of the industry the support and respect they deserve.