In December, the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) hosted its seventh annual Honor Roll Ceremony, recognizing the excellent safety records of Drivers, Taxi Fleets and For-Hire Vehicle (FHV) Bases from across all the industry segments it regulates. The TLC also recognized Drivers for their leadership in providing wheelchair-accessible trips, and Drivers that delivered meals to New Yorkers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Due to the pandemic, this was the first time the TLC held its Honor Roll ceremony in a virtual format. The celebration also included congratulatory messages from TLC’s Vision Zero partners, such as New York City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, who chairs the Council’s Transportation Committee.
Drivers recognized for safety achievements in this year’s Honor Roll did not have any safety violations over the past four years and were not involved in any serious collisions. Combined, these honorees completed almost six million trips between 2017 and 2020.
“NYC TLC-Licensed Drivers are the best in the for-hire transportation industry,” said TLC Commissioner/Chair Aloysee Heredia Jarmoszuk. “Today, we celebrate all TLC-Licensees with special recognition for those that have gone above and beyond their call of duty. Day in and out, TLC’s exemplary Licensees transport passengers of all backgrounds safely and during the worst of the pandemic, they ensured New Yorkers were fed. We are especially grateful for all our hero Drivers and Operators.”
“As Chair of the City Council Transportation Committee, and as a former livery driver, I want to congratulate all of today’s honorees,” added City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. “Thank you, not only for taking care of yourselves and your families but also for taking care of pedestrians and cyclists.”
“These individuals waited long hours in line at the food distribution sites, before spending their entire day delivering meals,” explained New York City Sheriff Joseph Fucito. “They demonstrated extreme bravery in facing continuously unknown danger and performed wonderful acts of humanity and kindness for those most in need.”
“Your stellar driving records covering thousands of miles are truly impressive and so important to the people of this city, and the businesses being honored have set a great example for the city’s for-hire industry,” said Noah Genel, Commissioner, New York City Business Integrity Commission. “Congratulations on your safe driving records and your service to the people of New York. Take pride in being safe, and please, keep it up!”
“While COVID-19 has been difficult and challenging for this city, I commend the TLC drivers for their generosity and for the great work they’re doing in keeping our city moving,” said Dr. Torian Easterling, First Deputy Commissioner, New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene. “I also want to thank you all specifically for the work you’ve done to deliver food to vulnerable New Yorkers through our GetFoodNYC program.”
“We honor the drivers participating in the City Accessible Dispatch service and recognize their achievements in providing wheelchair-accessible trips to everyday New Yorkers,” said Keith Kerman, Chief Fleet Officer, New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS). “We know driving is challenging. It all still comes down to the care, caution, and commitment of fleet operators and drivers every day, every mile, being alert, driving slowly, and respecting those who share the roads with us.”
Of the safety honorees, 202 drive Yellow Cabs, 16 drive Green Cabs, 42 drive Commuter Vans, and 230 work in the FHV sector (including Community Car Services, Traditional Black Cars, Luxury Limousines, and High-Volume Apps).
Here is a closer look at some of the statistical highlights of this year’s group of outstanding Drivers and Businesses:
- 161 of the 411 drivers honored were repeat honorees from previous years.
- 63 drivers were three-time honorees
- 39 Drivers were four-time honorees
- 13 Drivers were five-time honorees
- 2 Drivers were six-time honorees
- One Driver, Howard Kugelman, has been honored every year since the Honor Roll began in 2014
Honoree speaker Karttik Joadder shared in his remarks the importance of driving carefully, looking out for cyclists, and being vigilant of the bus lane.
The Safest Drivers represented all five boroughs: 159 reside in Queens; 128 hail from Brooklyn; 58 call The Bronx their home; 27 represent Manhattan; 11 bring honor to their home borough of Staten Island; and 28 live outside New York City.
The honorees included 5 Yellow Cab Fleets and 20 Car Service Bases. The Safest Business honorees are located throughout the five boroughs and Yonkers, and none had crashes involving their affiliated vehicles since 2017.
The five safest Yellow Taxi Fleets honored this year have had no crashes involving their affiliated vehicles since 2017.
Safest Business Honoree, Scott Rutter of Commonwealth Worldwide, spoke of the extensive safety training that his company’s drivers complete, as well as the financial incentives for safe driving Commonwealth provides.
Through the TLC’s Accessible Dispatch program, passengers citywide receive on-demand wheelchair accessible Yellow or Green Taxi service anywhere in the city. One Accessibility Honoree completed more than 250 Accessible Dispatch trips between July 2019 and March 2020.
TLC Emergency Food Delivery
TLC also honored the drivers who delivered more than 65 million meals this year through GetFoodNYC to New Yorkers who were unable to get food due to medical or financial challenges, helping them stay home to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Syed Bukhari, who shared remarks with his fellow Honorees, performed almost 800 routes, delivering meals to nearly 5,000 households.