The New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC), in September, released its biannual decision on whether to license new For-Hire Vehicles (FHVs). Following a review of factors that included traffic congestion, vehicle supply, passenger demand, driver earnings, and attrition rates, the TLC has determined that it will not issue any new FHV licenses in the next six months, except for those that are wheelchair accessible.
According to the TLC: “As New York City continues to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is vital that the sectors the TLC regulates have an opportunity to recover and thrive. The existing FHV fleet of 96,000 vehicles exceeds current passenger demand. It is critical that TLC-Licensed Drivers can continue to earn a livable wage and that TLC-Licensed businesses have the ability to move from operating at a loss to breaking even to turning a profit. New vehicle licenses would only serve to jeopardize the progress the Industry is beginning to make after nearly two devasting years as a result of the global health pandemic.”
The following are among the findings from the most recent TLC analysis:
- The number of average daily FHV trips is still significantly lower than during the pre-pandemic period, but there have been increases in the last six months, including in the outer-boroughs.
- Over the past six months, traffic congestion in Manhattan has approached pre-pandemic levels. Traffic speeds in Midtown have been decreasing.
- The issuance of new FHV licenses could undermine the increase in earnings that active TLC-Licensed Drivers have seen in recent months.
- Over 30,000 existing FHV did not provide passenger service in July 2021, even though they are licensed to do so, representing a large pool of vehicles that could return to the road and provide service.
- TLC license holders can continue to change their vehicles from gas to electric. The TLC has said it is fully-committed to electrifying the fleet of currently-licensed vehicles in NYC.
- Vehicle owners can still obtain a new FHV license if they provide wheelchair accessible service to the riding public.
Following legislation signed by Mayor de Blasio in 2018, TLC conducts a biannual review of For-Hire Vehicle licenses and determines whether new licenses should be issued.
Source: NYC TLC