New York’s City Council and Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) met on October 13, for a three-hour NYC Council Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure hearing to discuss TLC plates, driver pay, in-vehicle advertising in for-hire vehicles (FHVs) and the state of taxi medallions.

TLC Plates & Driver Earnings

Participants discussed the number of TLC Plates still in storage after the pandemic storage program was shuttered, the re-issuance of forfeited TLC Plates, an update on March’s 1,000 EV-only TLC Plate process, and a recent increase in new TLC Driver Licenses. TLC said 20,548 more new licenses were issued in 2023 vs. 2022, claiming the increase was driven by income opportunities. “Oversaturation” is not currently an issue, they added.

In-Vehicle Advertising

Council Member Amanda Farias recently introduced a controversial new bill (Intro 1139-2023) that would allow FHVs to display digital ads in their cars. She says the goal is to help struggling FHV drivers earn more “with no extra work” through ads displayed on tablets in their vehicle interiors. The taxi industry opposes the bill over concerns it could reduce profits for drivers in that segment. The bill’s future remains to be seen.

Taxi Medallions

The Committee discussed the taxi medallion relief debt restructuring program and the current state of taxi medallions. Notable stats included the following:

  • $455 million in debt relief was granted to smaller taxi medallion owners ($58 million from MRP, $387 million from MRP+)
  • 1,879 owners, representing 2,258 medallions, have participated in the MRP program
  • 2,001 medallions owners have applied for the MRP+ process, which currently takes about 12 weeks to complete
  • 2,900 medallions (different from individuals) have been serviced since the inceptionof Owner/Driver Resource Center (ODRC) in 2020
  • 16% of medallion loans are more than 90 days overdue; 21% are delinquent
  • 800 medallion loans still need restructuring from lenders that have not signed up yet

Also discussed at the meeting: legislation increasing the licensing period for a taxicab from one year to two years and legislation that would require app-hail transportation providers to pay taxi drivers “at least the same amount” they would get for the metered rate of pay from a traditional street hail.

Sources: AutoMarketplace, News 12 Brooklyn

Article by Black Car News

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