In December, the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) held its eighth annual Honor Roll, with a digital celebration of TLC-licensed drivers and bases. Drivers were recognized for outstanding safety records, a strong commitment to providing service to passengers who use wheelchairs, efforts to help New Yorkers get vaccinated safely at home and “going above and beyond” to support the electrification of the city’s Taxi fleet.
As part of the TLC’s 50th anniversary year, the agency also recognized the service of the 20 most active TLC-licensed woman drivers, honoring them with its first Gertrude Jeannette Achievement Award. Jeannette, the first female Taxi driver in New York, was a groundbreaking figure in the city’s history, overcoming tremendous racial discrimination behind the wheel. She was a Black woman who moved to New York from Arkansas and responded to an ad looking for women when male Taxi drivers were drafted into World War II. She was the first woman to obtain an NYC Taxi license.
Now, there are approximately 8,120 TLC-licensed woman drivers in NYC, across all sectors. The 20 women honored hail from across the five boroughs and completed over two million trips during their careers.
The TLC also honored 12 of TLC’s eldest licensees with a Lifetime Achievement Award. These drivers, all in their eighties, have made critical contributions to New York City during their careers.
The ceremony’s virtual format helped the TLC recognize many Honorees safely, while giving licensees greater flexibility to participate. The celebration included congratulatory messages from TLC’s government partners, including the Health Department, FDNY, the Mayor’s Office of Climate and Sustainability, and Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, who chairs the Transportation Committee.
“New York City is home to world-class drivers and the TLC Safety Honor Roll is an annual recognition of the best licensees, those whose work helps advance Vision Zero and to close the accessibility gap daily,” said TLC Chair, Aloysee Heredia Jarmoszuk.. “As the TLC celebrates its 50th Anniversary, for the first time, we celebrate women for being groundbreakers in the industry. We acknowledge and extend gratitude to the eldest TLC licensees with a Lifetime Achievement Award and applaud sustainability to electrify the NYC Taxi.”
“Our members were proud to work closely with TLC-Licensed Drivers and medical professionals on the life-saving program that vaccinated thousands of vulnerable New Yorkers across the city,” said Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro. “The transportation provided by TLC Licensees was essential to ensuring quick response to homebound New Yorkers and helping our city through the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“TLC-licensed drivers have been essential to New York City during the COVID-19 pandemic. They saved lives by taking people where they needed to go, whether it was the hospital, a vaccine hub or to staff critical infrastructure,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Dave A. Chokshi. “Congratulations to the drivers being honored and thank you for working to power New York City.”
“As Chairman of the Transportation Committee for over a decade, my main priority has always been to maintain the safety of all New Yorkers. Taxi drivers have always played a crucial role in our communities, maintaining the highest level of professionalism and road safety,” noted Rodriguez. “I thank TLC Commissioner and Chair Aloysee Heredia Jarmoszuk for all the work she is doing in recognizing the hard work Taxi drivers do for our City. I want to also thank all of the TLC-licensed drivers who are constantly putting the safety of New Yorkers as their top priority.”
“The TLC electric vehicle drivers we’re honoring today are advancing a green, sustainable future for our city. Our electric Taxi drivers are helping tackle the climate crisis and protect air quality, helping keep New Yorkers healthy and supporting the transition to a green economy,” said Ben Furnas, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Climate and Sustainability. “Taxis are a symbol of NYC, and our electric taxis are showing the world what green innovation looks like one ride at a time.”
The almost 600 TLC-licensed drivers recognized for safety this year did not have any safety violations and were not involved in any serious collisions in the past three years. Combined, they completed more than 7.3 million trips between 2018 and 2021, underscoring their dedication to providing safe service to the public.
Twenty Accessible Dispatch Drivers were honored for providing a significant number of Accessible Dispatch rides citywide. They hailed from all five boroughs, with Brooklyn being home to almost a third of Accessible Dispatch Honorees.
TLC also honored drivers who worked to help save lives with the Home-bound Vaccination Program, as well as one of the first TLC-licensed drivers to receive the COVID-19 shot. The ceremony also recognized Taxi drivers and fleet owners who contributed to electrifying the Taxi fleet by putting new Electric Taxis on the road.
- TLC’s Safety Honorees included 499 For-Hire Vehicle, 99 Yellow Taxi, 42 Commuter Van, and 7 Green Taxi drivers.
- Queens was home to the highest number of Honorees, 179, followed by Brooklyn, 125, Manhattan, 29, and Staten Island, 12. Approximately 50 Honorees live outside of New York City.
- 47 Bases were recognized for safety excellence, including 27 Taxi Fleets and 20 For-Hire Vehicle services.
- The Safety Honoree who completed the most trips provided approximately 38,500 rides between 2018 and 2021.
TLC honored 20 Wheelchair Accessible Taxi drivers for their contributions to the Accessible Dispatch Program. Six Honorees live in Brooklyn, followed by 5 in the Bronx, four in Queens, one in Staten Island, and three who live outside of NYC.
145 of 2021’s Driver Safety Honorees were repeat honorees, including 79 returning honorees. 11 honorees were honored the past three years!
Source: NYC TLC