The New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC), on March 23, again decided to not issue new For-Hire Vehicle (FHV) licenses for another six months, despite a Dec. 22 report from the TLC’s Black Car and Livery Task Force that chronicled the long-running collapse of the “traditional” segments of the industry – including Black Car and Livery bases. The TLC said it will only issue new licenses to wheelchair accessible vehicles, which are more expensive.
“This is not a cap, this is a death sentence,” Avik Kabessa, CEO of Carmel Car Service and Livery Round Table board member told THE CITY. “On top of it, they ignore the loss of Livery permits due to COVID-19.”
Recent TLC data shows there were 5,112 Livery cars in January 2022 – a 73% drop from six years earlier, when there were more than 18,782. The January number was down 99 from December, the data reveals.
Cira Angeles, who served on the Black Car and Livery Task Force and is the spokesperson for the Livery Base Owners Association, argued Liveries are an invaluable resource in city neighborhoods in the boroughs (and Upper Manhattan) that are not served by Yellow Taxis.
“These are drivers that serve underserved communities where Yellow Taxis and others do not work,” Angeles said. “We need more licenses to serve these communities, otherwise, we are going to be decimated.”
The December report said 97% of Livery trips since June 2017 originated outside of Manhattan. Angeles noted that the loss of licenses has meant Livery bases have only been able to accommodate 40% of ride requests. Kabessa added that the city is missing a “golden opportunity” to rescue the Livery industry.
Source: The City