New York’s City Council approved the creation of a Black Car & Livery Task Force in late August, by a 47-0 vote. The bill was sponsored by Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, establishing “a short-term task force that would study challenges to the viability of the Black Car and Livery industries, as well as the impacts of advertising and the viability of advertising as a source of revenue for Black Car and Livery drivers.”
The task force will be comprised of 11 members, including Aloysee Heredia Jarmoszuk, Chairperson of the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC), or her designee, as well as individuals appointed by the Mayor, the Speaker of the Council, and the Public Advocate. The task force would be required to hold at least one public hearing and issue a report with recommendations for “identified challenges.”
The formation of the task force is expected to move quickly, and interested parties are waiting to see who gets appointed and the degree drivers will get a say in what it accomplishes. In addition to the issue of advertising as a source of revenue, the group is expected to address the impact Uber and Lyft have had on traditional FHV bases and the future of the FHV cap.
“Restricted” FHV licenses, sought by traditional bases in the past, could also be a topic of discussion. A restricted FHV license would essentially allow bases that don’t fall into the High-Volume FHV category to add vehicles based on demand, to avoid adding so many vehicles that it hurts current TLC-licensed driver incomes. Those vehicles would only be allowed to work for a specific base or industry category.
Rodriguez, who also chairs the Transportation Committee, has already shown support for such a measure, including correcting other issues related to the current FHV license cap.
The bill (Int. No. 1865-A) will now go to the Mayor, who has 30 days to either sign it into law, veto it, or take no action. If the Mayor doesn’t sign or veto the bill within 30 days, it becomes law and it would take effect immediately.