David Do, who was appointed by Mayor Eric Adams in April to head New York City’s Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC), will soon find out if he can hack it as a cabbie. Do passed the TLC driver’s license exam in January, and recently told media outlet, THE CITY, he hopes to take 100 trips a year to learn firsthand what drivers encounter daily – whether it’s dealing with traffic and customers, or struggling to find designated spots to park and for bathroom breaks.
“With this experience, I’ll be able to go to [the Transportation Department] and say, ‘Hey, look, I was in the shoes of our drivers and they are 100% right that they cannot find that relief stand that is open without a car blocking it,” he said.
Do cleared each hurdle of the winding process to obtain a TLC permit, including a 24-hour driver education course, training on how to assist passengers in wheelchairs for accessible vehicles, passing a drug test and defensive driving course, and getting enough right answers on the license exam. Do scored a 90% on the 80-question multiple-choice exam, records show, and plans to hit NYC streets in the coming weeks.
Do said he hopes to speak with drivers at taxi stands, so he can hear their insights on driving and agency rules, but pledged to let people know who he is. A TLC spokesperson said Do was cleared by the city’s Conflict of Interests Board to obtain the license, but he is bound by several rules: He’s not immune from disciplinary measures if a passenger files a complaint against him; and he cannot collect fares or tips. So, any passenger who happens to hail his cab – which initially will be a yellow taxi in the TLC fleet – will get a free ride.