In a June visit to Crain’s, New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) Chairwoman Meera Joshi said that one of her primary aims, in the four years since Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed her, has been to “roll back the decades and decades of regulations” heaped upon yellow cabs.

A recent wave of driver suicides, triggered in part by the disruption that has beset the sector, has rattled Joshi and her staff. They mentioned having interacted over the years with Douglas Schifter, a Black Car driver who killed himself outside City Hall in February after criticizing not just the tech firms that have saturated the streets with vehicles, but also TLC rules that veteran drivers considered onerous.

Among the reforms Joshi wants to put forward is the elimination of the 80-year-old distinction between independent and corporate medallions – granting owners more maneuverability; allowing cabs to use apps that give pricing upfront, rather than putting riders at the mercy of meters; and allowing yellow-cab operators to ditch the much-hyped “taxi of tomorrow,” a Nissan NV-200 that many drivers have opposed.

Joshi talked of enforcing accessibility rules and creating a universal license, which now requires all drivers take the same hack classes. The big move in the works is a pay floor for all drivers. But she pointed out that City Council members who want a cap on Uber and Lyft’s growth could not simply ask her agency to impose one. They would have to pass a bill – which Joshi said many of the lawmakers did not seem to realize.

Source: Crain’s New York Business

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