By Steven J. Shanker, Esq.
As you already know, as a licensed livery base, you must submit full and accurate trip records not only to the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC), but also to the Livery Fund (NYILDBF). Failure to submit accurate trip records to the TLC may result in the suspension of your base license [see TLC Rule 59B-19(a)(4) and 59B-19(a)(5)].
Failure to accurately report all of your trips to the NYILDBF will result in an audit of your base. If such an audit reveals that the trip records that were submitted were not accurate, the NYILDBF will have no choice but to report your base to the TLC and recommend that your license be suspended until compliance.
While the NYILDBF has set up an online portal for each member base to submit their trip records, some bases are still not reporting all their trips to both the TLC and the NYILDBF. Some bases may be doing this because they incorrectly believe it is illegal for a livery base to send a dispatch to a black car. Hence, if the livery base does not report the dispatches, it sends to the operators of vehicles affiliated with a black car base (or simply affiliated with a non-livery base) they will not be penalized.
Please keep in mind that back in 2019, the TLC lifted the prohibition on livery bases dispatching to black cars. TLC Rule 59B-17(d) specifically states that a base owner may dispatch a vehicle that is not affiliated with the Base Owner’s Base so long as the Base Owner provides the customer with the name and license number of both the affiliated Base of the vehicle performing the service along with the license number of the dispatching Base. The purpose of the lift on the cross-class prohibition was to provide bases with more options to increase their dispatching efficiency.
The NYILDBF has reason to believe that some livery bases have not accurately reported their trips to the TLC and the NYILDBF. The NYILDBF does not want to audit a livery base and does not want to harm any livery base owner or the industry itself. The NYILDBF simply wants to receive the monies it is entitled to for each black car dispatch which is currently twenty-one and one-half cents per dispatch to each black car with a cap of $195 for each black car vehicle.
A great deal has changed in the for-hire vehicle (FHV) industry since 2010 when the NYILDBF began its operations. The NYILDBF is well aware that the number of livery vehicles has decreased from approximately 28,000 to less than 9,000 liveries. The loss of approximately one-third of the number of liveries means that the pool of available drivers dramatically shrank. The lift on the prohibition of livery bases dispatching to black cars almost makes it inevitable that livery bases will dispatch to black cars. It is the only way to be best able to satisfy the needs of your customer bases.
Each member of the NYILDBF must remember that the long-term viability of the NYILDBF is based upon collecting the proper premium from each base. In 2010 the cost was $260 per vehicle. The efficiency of the NYILDBF has enabled that cost to decrease almost every year for the past decade to the current cost of $195 per affiliated vehicle.
Now that livery bases are dispatching to black cars, the Workers’ Compensation Board has authorized the NYILDBF to charge a per trip charge to each livery base that sends a dispatch to a black car. If the NYILDBF is not able to collect the necessary premium from each livery base, then the long-term viability of the NYILDBF is placed in jeopardy. In other words, when a livery base does not report its black car dispatches to the NYILDBF, the NYILDBF becomes underfunded.
Also, when some livery bases report their black car dispatches and others do not, then too high of a financial burden is placed on the livery bases who are compliant with the law. This is not only unfair to the livery bases who comply with the law, but it is also a violation of the TLC Rules. The NYILDBF cannot sit back and allow non-compliant bases to continue to violate the law.
Accordingly, each base that is a member of the NYILDBF must remember to send a report of all dispatches, including all black car dispatches. The due date is the same date they are due to be sent to the TLC. The report is in the same format as is already required by the TLC. This is not an undue burden for any livery base.
If any base does not send their complete trip records, then the NYILDBF will have no choice but to seek compliance via the TLC, the Workers’ Compensation Board, and all other provisions of the law. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the fund here: https://www.newyorkliveryfund.com/.