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Taxi and Limousine Commission
Codified Title: 
Title 35: Taxi and Limousine Commission

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 

STATEMENT OF BASIS AND PURPOSE OF RULES

This rule amends a rule that the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) adopted in July 2016 to address the risks of fatigued driving. The rule incorporates feedback from the industry since the adoption of the initial rule. It also adds new reporting requirements for the for-hire vehicle (FHV) sector that will support the regulation of fatigued driving and assist TLC with enforcement initiatives in other areas.

Background

Long hours driving on the road can lead to fatigue and reduced sleep, and compounded over time, may result in chronic fatigue. For drivers, this means slowed reaction times and a reduced ability to assess situations quickly, increasing the danger of driver errors and the risk of crashing. Additionally, research has shown that being awake for 18 hours results in impairment equal to driving while under the influence of alcohol (DUI), and that being awake for 24 hours results in impairment equal to 1.25 times the threshold for driving while intoxicated (DWI).

Although almost all TLC-licensed drivers do not drive an excessive number of hours, TLC recognized that a small number does and that some drivers may be tempted to work dangerously long hours. Therefore, in support of the City’s Vision Zero initiative to reduce traffic fatalities, TLC adopted rules in July 2016 to address the risks of fatigued driving.

Before establishing in these rules the maximum number of hours that licensed taxi and FHV drivers may work in any day or week, TLC analyzed available trip data, including FHV trip data. TLC used pickup times as a proxy for hours worked because that was the only data that FHV bases were required to report.

[1]

This approach provided one uniform method for calculating driving hours across the taxi and FHV sectors. TLC counted a pickup as one hour that would be tallied against the limit, regardless of the trip duration.

Many stakeholders, including FHV bases, argued that it would be more accurate to use trip duration to calculate driving hours. TLC delayed implementation of the driver fatigue rules to explore this method for calculating driving hours as a means of establishing safe daily and weekly driving limits. In the fall of 2016, several FHV bases voluntarily produced trip records that included both pickup and drop-off times, allowing TLC to calculate trip durations. TLC then analyzed both FHV and taxi trip records and determined that a calculation based on trip duration provides a more accurate way to identify drivers at risk of fatigue. This method also makes it easier for drivers and bases to track driving hours, which will help them comply with the limits established in this rule.

Revised Fatigued Driving Rule

As a result of the above analysis, this rule adopts the alternative method for calculating driving hours based on trip duration. Licensed drivers would still be subject to daily and weekly driving limits, as under the current driver fatigue rules. Moreover, like the current rule, this rule also addresses acute and chronic fatigue, provides flexibility for different shift types, fights fatigue in both taxi and FHV sectors, and accounts for drivers working in both the taxi and FHV sectors.

The existing rule accounts for total driving time – transporting of passengers plus time cruising while not transporting passengers - in the calculation of the daily and weekly limits. Since this rule does not include cruising time, the daily and weekly limits would be reduced in the new rule from 12 hours to 10 hours and from 72 hours to 60 hours, respectively, to ensure that total driving time remains within acceptable limits.  Even with these reduced daily and weekly limits, however, most drivers would not need to modify their driving hours in order to comply.

This rule would reduce the safety risks of fatigued driving by:

·        

Prohibiting a driver of a taxi or for-hire vehicle from transporting passengers for hire for more than 10 hours in any 24-hour period;

·        

Prohibiting a driver of a taxi or for-hire vehicle from transporting passengers for hire for more than 60 hours in a calendar week (that is, Sunday through Saturday);

·        

Resetting the 10-hour clock for a driver after any period in which he or she has gone at least eight consecutive hours without transporting passengers (e.g., a driver who finishes a trip at 9:30 p.m. on Monday after transporting passengers for 10 hours must take at least an eight hour break before picking up the next passenger no sooner than Tuesday at 5:30 a.m.); and

·        

Prohibiting a base from dispatching a driver to transport passengers for more than 10 hours in any 24-hour period (unless that base has stopped dispatching the driver to transport passengers for eight or more consecutive hours) and prohibiting a base from dispatching a driver to transport passengers for more than 60 hours in a calendar week.

To enforce this rule, each month TLC will review trip records submitted by yellow and green taxis, as well as FHV bases, to calculate the number of hours in which a driver transported passengers in a day or week. Trips by a driver who accepts dispatches from multiple bases, or who operates both taxis and for-hire vehicles, will be combined to determine the total number of driving hours. Bases will only be responsible for trips that they dispatch, not dispatches that their affiliated drivers accept through other bases or street hails accepted by green taxis.

[2]

 

Additional FHV Trip Data Reporting Requirements

 

As noted above, implementation of this rule is based on calculation of trip times, which will require FHV bases to regularly transmit to TLC drop-off time and location, in addition to the pickup time and location currently required by TLC rule. In addition to requiring FHV bases to report trip times, TLC will also require them to indicate when trips are shared. With drop-off location information, TLC can confirm the accuracy of the FHV records by considering such factors as distances traveled during and between trips, routes, and traffic conditions. Accurate drop-off information will also ensure that these rules are applied consistently whether the driver works in the taxi or FHV sector, given the flexibility now available to drivers under the newly-instituted TLC Driver’s License.

Drop-off data for FHV trips will also assist TLC in effectively investigating passenger complaints or complaints from a pedestrian or other motorist about unsafe driving, by allowing it to determine the location of a vehicle at a particular time, including for incidents alleged to have occurred during or between trips. The data is particularly important for investigations in the FHV sector, where, unlike yellow and green taxis, the vast and growing vehicle fleet does not have readily identifiable markers, such as a medallion or permit number on the roof light.

The data will also support street enforcement in major service areas. For example, the potential for illegal solicitations by FHV drivers is high at peak drop-off times at the airports when drivers have completed trips and observe a large number of potential passengers. By understanding when for-hire trips to and from the airports occur TLC can better target resources to ensure that passengers are picked up at the airport only by drivers authorized to do so.

Finally, as the number of FHV vehicles and trips continues to grow, so does the need for greater transparency and accountability. Since November 2014, when TLC first imposed trip reporting requirements on the FHV sector, the number of FHVs has grown by over 50 percent to nearly 78,000 vehicles, or four times the combined number of yellow and green taxis.  Because of the 2014 trip reporting requirements, the mechanism is in place for bases to submit the additional trip data to TLC that they collect. Collection of this data is likely already taking place, particularly for FHV trips that are dispatched via technologically-sophisticated means or when bases provide a binding fare quote.

For all of the above reasons, the rule would amend the current trip record rules to require that FHV bases collect and transmit to TLC:

·        

The drop-off time and location for each trip that they dispatch, and

·        

An indication that the dispatched trip was shared with another dispatched trip.

TLC will maintain the privacy and confidentiality of the additional data that it will be collecting because of these new reporting requirements, as it does with all data currently collected. 

Implementation

To implement this rule, TLC will first work with FHV bases to help them meet the new trip data reporting requirements. After these reporting requirements are met, and before any summonses are issued, TLC will issue warnings for several months to drivers or bases that exceed the daily or weekly driving limits. During this implementation period, TLC will continue to provide its expanded driver education and training materials, which were introduced after the adoption of the driver fatigue rule in July 2016 and include strategies to combat fatigue and information on the benefits of breaks and the importance of getting adequate rest. By drawing on all of these tools, TLC seeks to ensure that drivers have enough time to rest prior to transporting passengers for hire and thus help move the city a step closer to achieving Vision Zero.

 




[1]

TLC issued rules in 2014 requiring FHV bases to report the pickup time and location of each trip, in addition to the license numbers of the driver and vehicle performing the trip.

[2]

For example, if Base A dispatches a driver to perform trips for nine hours in a 24-hour period and Base B dispatches the same driver to perform trips for an additional six hours in the same 24-hour period, then only the driver is in violation of the daily limit, not either of  the two bases.

Effective Date: 
Wed, 03/15/2017

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments (View Public Comments Received:1)

Agency:
Comment By: 
Thursday, January 5, 2017
Proposed Rules Content: 

STATEMENT OF BASIS AND PURPOSE OF RULES

This proposed rule amends a rule that the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) adopted in July 2016 to address the risks of fatigued driving. The proposed rule incorporates feedback from the industry since the adoption of the initial rule. The proposed rule also adds new reporting requirements for the for-hire vehicle (FHV) sector that will support the regulation of fatigued driving and assist TLC with enforcement initiatives in other areas.

Background

Long hours driving on the road can lead to fatigue and reduced sleep, and compounded over time, may result in chronic fatigue. For drivers, this means slowed reaction times and a reduced ability to assess situations quickly, increasing the danger of driver errors and the risk of crashing. Additionally, research has shown that being awake for 18 hours results in impairment equal to driving while under the influence of alcohol (DUI), and that being awake for 24 hours results in impairment equal to 1.25 times the threshold for driving while intoxicated (DWI).

Although almost all TLC-licensed drivers do not drive an excessive number of hours, TLC recognized that a small number does and that some drivers may be tempted to work dangerously long hours. Therefore, in support of the City’s Vision Zero initiative to reduce traffic fatalities, TLC adopted rules in July 2016 to address the risks of fatigued driving.

Before establishing in these rules the maximum number of hours that licensed taxi and FHV drivers may work in any day or week, TLC analyzed available trip data, including FHV trip data. TLC used pickup times as a proxy for hours worked because that was the only data that FHV bases were required to report.

[1]

This approach provided one uniform method for calculating driving hours across the taxi and FHV sectors. TLC counted a pickup as one hour that would be tallied against the limit, regardless of the trip duration.

Many stakeholders, including FHV bases, argued that it would be more accurate to use trip duration to calculate driving hours. TLC delayed implementation of the driver fatigue rules to explore this method for calculating driving hours as a means of establishing safe daily and weekly driving limits. In the fall of 2016, several FHV bases voluntarily produced trip records that included both pickup and drop-off times, allowing TLC to calculate trip durations. TLC then analyzed both FHV and taxi trip records and determined that a calculation based on trip duration provides a more accurate way to identify drivers at risk of fatigue. This method also makes it easier for drivers and bases to track driving hours, which will help them comply with the limits established in this proposed rule.

Revised Fatigued Driving Rule

As a result of the above analysis, this proposed rule adopts the alternative method for calculating driving hours based on trip duration. Licensed drivers would still be subject to daily and weekly driving limits, as under the current driver fatigue rules. Moreover, like the current rule, the proposed rule also addresses acute and chronic fatigue, provides flexibility for different shift types, fights fatigue in both the taxi and FHV sectors, and accounts for drivers working in both the taxi and FHV sectors.

The existing rule accounts for total driving time – transporting of passengers plus time cruising while not transporting passengers - in the calculation of the daily and weekly limits. Since the proposed rule does not include cruising time, the daily and weekly limits would be reduced in the new rule from 12 hours to 10 hours and from 72 hours to 60 hours, respectively, to ensure that total driving time remains within acceptable limits.  Even with these reduced daily and weekly limits, however, most drivers would not need to modify their driving hours in order to comply.

The proposed rule would reduce the safety risks of fatigued driving by:

·        

Prohibiting a driver of a taxi or for-hire vehicle from transporting passengers for hire for more than 10 hours in any 24-hour period;

·        

Prohibiting a driver of a taxi or for-hire vehicle from transporting passengers for hire for more than 60 hours in a calendar week (that is, Sunday through Saturday);

·        

Resetting the 10-hour clock for a driver after any period in which he or she has gone at least eight consecutive hours without transporting passengers (e.g., a driver who finishes a trip at 9:30 p.m. on Monday after transporting passengers for 10 hours must take at least an eight hour break before picking up the next passenger no sooner than Tuesday at 5:30 a.m.); and

·        

Prohibiting a base from dispatching a driver to transport passengers for more than 10 hours in any 24-hour period (unless that base has stopped dispatching the driver to transport passengers for eight or more consecutive hours) and prohibiting a base from dispatching a driver to transport passengers for more than 60 hours in a calendar week.

To enforce the proposed rule, each month TLC will review trip records submitted by yellow and green taxis, as well as FHV bases, to calculate the number of hours in which a driver transported passengers in a day or week. Trips by a driver who accepts dispatches from multiple bases, or who operates both taxis and for-hire vehicles, will be combined to determine the total number of driving hours. Bases will only be responsible for trips that they dispatch, not dispatches that their affiliated drivers accept through other bases or street hails accepted by green taxis.

[2]

 

Additional FHV Trip Data Reporting Requirements

 

As noted above, implementation of the proposed driver fatigue rule is based on calculation of trip times, which will require FHV bases to regularly transmit to TLC drop-off time and location, in addition to the pickup time and location currently required by TLC rule. In addition to requiring FHV bases to report trip times, TLC will also require them to indicate when trips are shared. With drop-off location information, TLC can confirm the accuracy of the FHV records by considering such factors as distances traveled during and between trips, routes, and traffic conditions. Accurate drop-off information will also ensure that these rules are applied consistently whether the driver works in the taxi or FHV sector, given the flexibility now available to drivers under the newly-instituted TLC Driver’s License.

Drop-off data for FHV trips will also assist TLC in effectively investigating passenger complaints or complaints from a pedestrian or other motorist about unsafe driving, by allowing it to determine the location of a vehicle at a particular time, including for incidents alleged to have occurred during or between trips. The data is particularly important for investigations in the FHV sector, where, unlike yellow and green taxis, the vast and growing vehicle fleet does not have readily identifiable markers, such as a medallion or permit number on the roof light.

The data will also support street enforcement in major service areas. For example, the potential for illegal solicitations by FHV drivers is high at peak drop-off times at the airports when drivers have completed trips and observe a large number of potential passengers. By understanding when for-hire trips to and from the airports occur TLC can better target resources to ensure that passengers are picked up at the airport only by drivers authorized to do so.

Finally, as the number of FHV vehicles and trips continues to grow, so does the need for greater transparency and accountability. Since November 2014, when TLC first imposed trip reporting requirements on the FHV sector, the number of FHVs has grown by over 50 percent to nearly 78,000 vehicles, or four times the combined number of yellow and green taxis.  Because of the 2014 trip reporting requirements, the mechanism is in place for bases to submit the additional trip data to TLC that they collect. Collection of this data is likely already taking place, particularly for FHV trips that are dispatched via technologically-sophisticated means or when bases provide a binding fare quote.

For all of the above reasons, the proposed rule would amend the current trip record rules to require that FHV bases collect and transmit to TLC:

·        

The drop-off time and location for each trip that they dispatch, and

·        

An indication that the dispatched trip was shared with another dispatched trip.

TLC will maintain the privacy and confidentiality of the additional data that it will be collecting because of these new reporting requirements, as it does with all data currently collected. 

Implementation

To implement the driver fatigue rule, TLC will first work with FHV bases to help them meet the new trip data reporting requirements. After these reporting requirements are met, and before any summonses are issued, TLC will issue warnings for several months to drivers or bases that exceed the daily or weekly driving limits. During this implementation period, TLC will continue to provide its expanded driver education and training materials, which were introduced after the adoption of the driver fatigue rule in July 2016 and include strategies to combat fatigue and information on the benefits of breaks and the importance of getting adequate rest. By drawing on all of these tools, TLC seeks to ensure that drivers have enough time to rest prior to transporting passengers for hire and thus help move the city a step closer to achieving Vision Zero.

 




[1]

TLC issued rules in 2014 requiring FHV bases to report the pickup time and location of each trip, in addition to the license numbers of the driver and vehicle performing the trip.

[2]

For example, if Base A dispatches a driver to perform trips for nine hours in a 24-hour period and Base B dispatches the same driver to perform trips for an additional six hours in the same 24-hour period, then only the driver is in violation of the daily limit, not either of  the two bases.

Subject: 

Revised Driver Fatigue Rules

Location: 
TLC Commission Meeting Room
33 Beaver Street 19th Floor
New York, NY 10004

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Rule

 

On April 21, 2016, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio signed four bills which were enacted into law as Local Laws numbers 43, 49, 50 and 52 of 2016. These local laws amended provisions of the Administrative Code of the City of New York governing the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (“TLC”).  These rule amendments bring TLC’s Rules into alignment with the changes made by these local laws.  Specifically, these rules:

 

·        

Eliminate the vehicle retirement requirement for Black Cars

·        

Increase penalties for illegal pickups made by for-hire vehicles within the Hail Exclusionary Zone

·        

Require all Black Car and Luxury Limousine Bases to provide a fare estimate on request

·        

Prohibit Black Car and Luxury Limousine Bases from charging more than 120 percent  of any fare estimate they give to a passenger

·        

Require all TLC licensees and authorized service or equipment providers that collect a passenger’s personal information or geolocation information, including FHV bases, TPEP and LPEP Providers, E-Hail Providers, and Dispatch Service Providers, to file with the TLC an Information Security and Use of Personal Information Policy and comply with that policy.

 

 

The Commission’s authority for these rules in found in section 2303 of the New York City Charter and sections 19-507, 19-544, 19-545, and 19-546 of the Administrative Code. These rules are exempt for the Law Department and Mayor’s Office of Operations review and certification process pursuant to section 1043(d)(4)(iv) of the New York City Charter.

Effective Date: 
Sat, 08/06/2016

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments (View Public Comments Received:2)

Agency:
Comment By: 
Thursday, June 23, 2016
Proposed Rules Content: 

STATEMENT OF BASIS AND PURPOSE OF RULES

 

Commercial drivers’ long work hours make them more susceptible than others to fatigued driving.  An existing Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) rule addresses driver fatigue by limiting to twelve the number of consecutive hours that a taxi driver can drive for hire.  But the restriction of the current rule is limited in scope—it does not apply to for-hire vehicle drivers—and difficult to enforce, because a break of any length could reset the clock and allow a driver to comply with TLC rules while working excessive hours.  Consistent with Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero Initiative’s emphasis on traffic safety, TLC reviewed the research on fatigued driving with the goal of developing new rules that would apply across its service sectors.

 

Research conducted by organizations including the Centers for Disease Control, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the National Sleep Foundation, and the US Federal Highway Administration concludes that long work hours, both daily and weekly, lead to acute fatigue and reduced sleep, and over time, may lead to cumulative fatigue.  For drivers, this means slowed reaction times and a reduced ability to assess situations quickly, potentially leading to driver errors and a higher risk of crashing.  Fatigued driving has been found to impair driving ability.  Research has shown that longer working hours are associated with fewer hours of sleep, and that being awake for 18 hours and 24 hours, respectively, results in impairment equal to blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) of 0.05 (considered driving while under the influence of alcohol in New York State) and 0.10 (1.25 times the 0.08 threshold for driving while intoxicated).  Although the vast majority of TLC-licensed drivers are not driving an excessive number of hours, there is a small segment of drivers who do.  Indeed, the TLC has heard concerns from passengers that their drivers may have fallen asleep behind the wheel.

 

The proposed rule seeks to reduce the serious safety risks of fatigued driving by:

 

  • Prohibiting a driver of a taxi or for-hire vehicle from picking up passengers for-hire for more than 12 hours in any 24-hour period;
  • Prohibiting a driver of a taxi or for-hire vehicle from picking up passengers for-hire for  more than 72 hours in any seven-day period;
  • Resetting the 12-hour clock for a driver after any period in which he or she has gone eight consecutive hours without pickups; and
  • Prohibiting a base from dispatching a driver to do pickups in more than 12 hours in any 24-hour period (unless that base has stopped dispatching the driver trips for eight or more consecutive hours) and prohibiting a base from dispatching a driver to do pickups in more than 72 hours in any seven-day period.

 

 Unlike the current rule, the proposed rule:

 

  • Provides flexibility for different shift types.  It maintains the ability for drivers to work  twelve-hour shifts, as is common practice among many taxi drivers in New York City, while also creating a standard that is flexible enough for drivers of any vehicle type who work less regular or “split shift” schedules.
  • Fights fatigue in both taxi and FHV sectors.  By applying to both taxi and for-hire vehicle drivers, this rule ensures the public and drivers have the same protections regardless of the service sector. 
  • Reflects cross-sector driver mobility.  This rule applies uniformly across driver types as drivers increasingly move back and forth between the taxi and for-hire vehicle sectors.  This practice will become even more common as TLC implements a new “universal license” giving all taxi and for-hire vehicle drivers cross-sector mobility.
  • Addresses acute fatigue. By prohibiting drivers from operating for-hire for more than 12 hours in any 24-hour period, while also accounting for adequate downtime, this rule reduces the likelihood that drivers will work more hours than may be safe within one day.
  • Addresses cumulative fatigue. By prohibiting drivers from operating for-hire for more than 72 hours in any seven-day period, the rule reduces the likelihood that drivers and the public will face additional safety risks associated with working long hours over many consecutive days without time for the body to recuperate.  Drivers who like long shifts could work up to six 12-hour shifts in a week but would need to rest one day a week. Most drivers do not work full 12-hour shifts and work shorter shifts.  These drivers could still work every day so long as the total number of hours worked does not exceed 72.   

 

The proposed daily and weekly limits fall within a range of limits in place for professional drivers in other jurisdictions:

  

  • In any 24-hour period, Chicago and Nevada taxi drivers may drive no more than 12 hours, Philadelphia taxi and limousine drivers may drive no more than 14 hours, and Los Angeles for-hire drivers may drive no more than 10 hours. Nationally, interstate truck and bus drivers may drive no more than 11 and 10 hours, respectively.
  • In any seven-day period, interstate truck drivers may drive no more than 60 hours, Los Angeles for-hire drivers may drive no more than 70 hours, Minneapolis taxi drivers may drive no more than 72 hours, and Philadelphia and Chicago for-hire drivers may drive no more than 84 hours.   

 

The limitations are also supported by best practices and scientific research.  The Institute of Medicine classifies transportation as a safety-sensitive industry, and work hours for professional drivers (e.g., truck drivers, aviation workers) have been regulated by the US Department of Transportation since the 1930s.  NHTSA reports that fatigue impairs performance of repetitive tasks, such as driving, by reducing vigilance, slowing reaction time and creating deficits in information processing.  Engineers at the University of North Florida studied bus drivers and found a discernable pattern of an increased propensity for collision involvement with an increase in weekly driving hours.  The AAA Foundation reports that fatigued drivers are involved in 20% of fatal crashes nationally.

 

While there is an economic aspect to this rule, the population of drivers affected by these limits is small.  Indeed, only 3% of for-hire drivers in New York City typically drive more than 12 hours per day and less than 7% of drivers typically drive more than 72 hours in a week.  Therefore most drivers would not need to modify their working hours to comply with these rules.  There is a small population of drivers whose current hours put them most at risk for fatigued driving and for whom it is particularly important to reduce working hours: the approximately 3% who are driving more than 80 hours in a week and the 1% who are exceeding 14 hours in a day. 

 

With regard to enforcement, Medallion and Boro Taxis are equipped with trip-recording equipment, and such records are transmitted to the TLC on a regular basis.  FHV bases transmit records of the for-hire vehicles that they dispatch on a regular basis.  TLC will review these trip records after submission to calculate the hours in which a driver is picking up passengers in any 24-hour or seven-day period.  Trips by a driver who accepts dispatches from multiple bases, or who operates both taxis and FHVs, will be combined to determine the total number of hours worked.  Bases will only be responsible for trips that they dispatch, not dispatches that their affiliated drivers accept through other bases or street hails accepted by Boro Taxis.

 

Given the wide range of driving schedules among the more than 140,000 TLC-licensed drivers in New York City, it is important to create clear, consistent, and enforceable rules.  This proposed rule will serve as one of many tools for the TLC to combat the complex challenge of fatigue. In addition to broad-based outreach to licensees to explain these rules, TLC will expand its current driver education and training materials to include strategies to combat driver fatigue, including the benefits of breaks and the importance of getting adequate rest. By drawing on all of these tools, TLC seeks to ensure that drivers have enough time to rest prior to transporting passengers for hire and thus help move the city a step closer to achieving Vision Zero. 

 

This rule is authorized by Section 2303 of the New York Charter and Section 19-503

 

of the Administrative Code.

Keywords:
Subject: 

Driver Fatigue Rules Public Hearing

Location: 
TLC Commission Meeting Room
33 Beaver Street 19th Floor
NEW YORK, NY 10004

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments (View Public Comments Received:1)

Agency:
Comment By: 
Thursday, June 23, 2016
Proposed Rules Content: 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rule

 

On April 21, 2016, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio signed four bills which were enacted into law as Local Laws numbers 43, 49, 50 and 52 of 2016. These local laws amended provisions of the Administrative Code of the City of New York governing the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (“TLC”).  The rule amendments proposed here bring TLC’s Rules into alignment with the changes made by these local laws.  Specifically, these proposed rules: 

·        

Eliminate the vehicle retirement requirement for Black Cars

·        

Increase penalties for illegal pickups made by for-hire vehicles within the Hail Exclusionary Zone

·        

Require all Black Car and Luxury Limousine Bases to provide a fare estimate on request

·        

Prohibit Black Car and Luxury Limousine Bases from charging more than 120 percent  of any fare estimate they give to a passenger

·        

Require all TLC licensees and authorized service or equipment providers that collect a passenger’s personal information or geolocation information, including FHV bases, TPEP and LPEP Providers, E-Hail Providers, and Dispatch Service Providers, to file with the TLC an Information Security and Use of Personal Information Policy and comply with that policy.

The Commission’s authority for these rules in found in section 2303 of the New York City Charter and sections 19-507, 19-544, 19-545, and 19-546 of the Administrative Code. These proposed rules are exempt for the Law Department and Mayor’s Office of Operations review and certification process pursuant to section 1043(d)(4)(iv) of the New York City Charter.

Subject: 

City Council FHV Bills Rules Public Hearing

Location: 
TLC Commission Meeting Room
33 Beaver Street 19th Floor
New York, NY 10004
Contact: 

No contact

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 

On January 20, 1994, the Taxi and Limousine Commission (“TLC”) adopted rules requiring the installation of driver safety partitions in Medallion Taxicabs.[1]  Since then, the rules have been revised a number of times.  Today Medallion Taxicabs are the only class of TLC-licensed vehicles subject to a partition requirement.  In contrast, owners of both Street Hail Liveries (“SHLs”) and Liveries, may install either a partition or an In Vehicle Camera Systems (IVCS).[2]  The remaining classes of vehicles, including the Black Car sector, have no requirement to install either a partition or IVCS.  

 

TLC staff have reviewed recent studies which examined the use of partitions and IVCS in taxis.  The studies show that IVCS effectively deter would-be criminals and significantly improve the likelihood that criminals are apprehended and successfully prosecuted.  Other studies have also shown that IVCS may decrease incidents of verbal abuse and fare jumping.  For these reasons, these rules allow Owners of Medallion Taxicabs to have the same option as the SHL and Livery sectors of installing either a partition or an IVCS.  The TLC will monitor the impact of this rule change to ensure that driver and passenger safety is not affected negatively.

 

The rules also require that Medallion Owners file with TLC a working email address to improve communications between the agency and its licensees. 

 

Finally, the rules allow Medallion Owners to request at any time one of the 496 waivers to hack-up an approved accessible Taxicab vehicle other than the Accessible Official Taxicab Vehicle (“AOTV”).  TLC rules previously required that these requests be made at least 120 but no more than 150 days prior to the current vehicle retirement date.  Industry stakeholders have requested eliminating this requirement to accommodate those circumstances when a vehicle must be removed from service well in advance of the scheduled retirement date.  Medallion Owners receiving these waivers must hack-up their vehicle within 120 days after approval.  Waivers not used within the required timeframe will then be returned to the pool of available waivers. 

 

These rules are authorized by Section 2303 of the Charter and Section 19-503 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York.

 




[1]

§1-17 of the TLC rules, presently codified as §58-35.

[2]

Unlike Taxicabs Owners, TLC rules permit all Owners of SHLs and Liveries, including those leasing their vehicles, to opt for an IVCS in lieu of a partition.

Effective Date: 
Sat, 05/28/2016

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Proposed Rules Content: 

On January 20, 1994, the Taxi and Limousine Commission (“TLC”) adopted rules requiring the installation of driver safety partitions in Medallion Taxicabs.(1)  Since then, the rules have been revised a number of times.  Today Medallion Taxicabs are the only class of TLC-licensed vehicles subject to a partition requirement.  In contrast, owners of both Street Hail Liveries (“SHLs”) and Liveries, may install either a partition or an In Vehicle Camera Systems (IVCS).(2) The remaining classes of vehicles, including the Black Car sector  have no requirement to install either a partition or IVCS.  

 

TLC staff have reviewed recent studies which examined the use of partitions and IVCS in taxis.  The studies show that IVCS effectively deter would-be criminals and significantly improve the likelihood that criminals are apprehended and successfully prosecuted.  Other studies have also shown that IVCS may decrease incidents of verbal abuse and fare jumping.  For these reasons, the proposed rules would allow Owners of Medallion Taxicabs to have the same option as the SHL and Livery sectors of installing either a partition or an IVCS.  The TLC will monitor the impact of this rule change to ensure that driver and passenger safety is not affected negatively.

 

The proposed rules would also require that Medallion Owners file with TLC a working email address  to improve communications between the agency and its licensees. 

 

Finally, the proposed rules would allow Medallion Owners to request at any time one of the 496 waivers to hack-up an approved accessible Taxicab vehicle other than the Accessible Official Taxicab Vehicle (“AOTV”).  TLC rules currently require that these requests be made at least 120 but no more than 150 days prior to the current vehicle retirement date.  Industry stakeholders have requested eliminating this requirement to accommodate those circumstances when a vehicle must be removed from service well in advance of the scheduled retirement date.  Medallion Owners receiving these waivers must hack-up their vehicle within 120 days after approval.  Waiver not used within the required timeframe will then be returned to the pool of available waivers. 

 

These rules are authorized by Section 2303 of the Charter and Section 19-503 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York.

 




[1]

§1-17 of the TLC rules, presently codified as §58-35.

[2]

Unlike Taxicabs Owners, TLC rules permit all Owners of SHLs and Liveries, including those leasing their vehicles, to opt for an IVCS in lieu of a partition.

Subject: 

The Taxi and Limousine Commission is considering changing its rules to allow all Medallion Taxicab Owners to install a TLC-approved In-Vehicle Camera System in lieu of a partition and to require that all Medallion Taxicab Owners file an Email address with the Commission. The Commission is also considering amending its rules regarding when the 496 Accessible Official Taxicab Vehicle waivers may be requested.

Location: 
NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission
33 Beaver St, 19th Floor
New York, NY 10004
Contact: 

212-676-1102 or tlcrules@tlc.nyc.gov

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 

Statement of Basis and Purpose

The Commission held a biennial review of the current fare and lease cap structure on April 2, 2015, as required under §52-04(b)(3-4) of the TLC Rules. These rule amendments are based on testimony and written comments received at the hearing, the review and analysis of Taxicab and Street Hail Livery (“SHL”) operations by TLC staff, and the solicitation of additional feedback from Drivers, taxi garage owners, and leasing Agents.

The amendments to the Medallion Taxicab Service rules:

·        

Allow Medallion Owners and Agents who offer an “all-in” lease, which includes both the lease of the Medallion and the conditional purchase of a vehicle, to extend lease terms beyond the current 156-week maximum and enable lessees to make smaller weekly payments;

·        

Cap the total amount that can be charged for the conditional purchase of the vehicle;

·        

Require lessors to produce and maintain more detailed receipts for payments towards the vehicle purchase;

·        

Permit non-cash payments from lessors to Drivers, provided that any alternative payment method is offered at no additional cost to the Driver;

·        

Provide for an evening rush hour surcharge for Flat Rate trips between John F. Kennedy Airport (“JFK”) and Manhattan; and

·        

Clarify which Sections of TLC Rules apply when leasing a hybrid taxicab.

The amendment to the SHL Service rules provides for an evening rush hour surcharge for Flat Rate trips from Manhattan to JFK.

Lease Caps for All-In Leases

The amendments change the rules for long-term leases to allow Medallion Owners and Agents to extend lease terms for those agreements that include both the lease of a Medallion as well as the conditional purchase of a vehicle (commonly referred to as the "all-in lease"). Currently, Medallion Owners and Agents may charge a weekly amount, which is capped by TLC rule, for up to 156 weeks for an all-in lease. This weekly cap includes both the Medallion portion of the lease as well as payments towards the conditional purchase of the vehicle. Once all payments are made at the end of the current 156-week term, the vehicle title can pass to the Driver if the Driver so requests. Medallion Owners, Agents, and Medallion Drivers have expressed interest in extending payments over longer periods of time to reduce weekly payments under the all-in model.

Under existing rules, lessors cannot enter into conditional purchase agreements with Drivers that require more than 156 weekly payments. Accordingly, lessors are unable to offer lower weekly payments over a longer period of time. The amended rules will permit lease terms to be extended beyond the current 156-week maximum and enable lessees to make smaller weekly payments.  The amended rules also establish a cap on the total amount that may be charged for the vehicle portion of the all-in lease. The current all-in lease cap, after the removal of the Medallion portion of the lease, permits up to $42,900 in total payments over the course of 156 weeks for the purchase of the vehicle. Under the amended rules, no Owner or Agent lessor will be allowed to charge more than the total amount of $42,900 for the vehicle portion of an all-in lease, irrespective of the term of the all-in agreement.

To protect drivers from lease overcharges, the amended rules include an additional itemized weekly cap of $275 for the vehicle portion of the lease. These rules also amend the requirements relating to receipts lessors must give Drivers for weekly payments and maintain in their records for Commission inspection. Under this change, lessors must provide weekly to Drivers the following information:

·        

Receipt of that week’s payment, itemized by the Medallion portion of the lease and the conditional vehicle purchase portion of the lease;

·        

The cumulative amount of payments toward the conditional purchase of the vehicle;

·        

The remaining balance on the conditional purchase of the vehicle; and

·        

The estimated number of remaining payments required for the conditional purchase of the vehicle under the current contract terms.

If lessors fail to include this information, they will be fined $200.  To ensure that lessors retain these documents, which TLC must inspect to investigate allegations of overcharges, lessors will be fined $100 penalty for each missing document.

Non-Cash Payment Methods for Owner and Agent Lessors

Medallion Owner and Agent lessors are required to remit to Drivers all passenger fares paid by credit card.  TLC rules currently require that these payments be made in cash.  Both Drivers and lessors have requested that these payments be permitted in forms other than cash.  Given security concerns associated with requiring lessors to have large sums of cash on hand as well as similar concerns with Drivers leaving garages after having been paid out in cash, the amended rules permit other forms of payment, such as payment by debit card, bank transfer, or check.  The lessor’s chosen form of payment must be offered at no cost to Drivers (for example, the lessor may not charge Drivers an administrative fee to process the payment and Drivers must have a reasonable method to access such reimbursements without incurring fees).  Additionally, Medallion Owner and Agent lessors must continue to make the payments within the same time period required under current rules.  For those lessors making electronic payments (for example, debit card or bank transfer), payment requests must be made to the bank or financial institution through which payments are made within the required time period.     

Cashless payment can help streamline operations, allowing Fleets and Agents to reduce shift change times and enabling the exchange of vehicles between Drivers at off-site locations, both of which can help to expand Taxicab service to passengers at rush hour and provide additional fare opportunities to Drivers.  Additionally, Drivers have responded positively to cashless payment provided in other parts of the City’s for-hire industry.  To ensure payment is made at no cost to Drivers, the amended rules add to the existing fine a penalty for an Owner or Agent who violates the rule requiring them to pay restitution to the Driver in the amount of any additional cost incurred by a Driver for payment. The amended rules also permit Drivers who lease Taxicabs on a weekly basis to choose to be paid out on a weekly basis, which conforms to current industry practice.

Rush Hour Surcharge for Flat Rate Taxi Trips between Manhattan and Kennedy Airport

In 2004, the Commission established an evening rush hour surcharge for weekday trips between 4:00 PM and 8:00 PM. The intent of the surcharge was to encourage Drivers to provide taxi service when supply is insufficient to meet passenger demand. However, the current evening rush hour surcharge does not apply to Flat Rate trips between Manhattan and JFK. Because of the amount of time it takes to make the round trip to JKF, including time spent waiting in the central hold lot, Drivers lose out on money they could have made via the surcharge on metered fares. These losses are amplified by the additional travel time to JFK during rush hours as compared to non-rush hours (56 minutes vs. 41 minutes). Including waiting time at JFK between fares, the average amount of time spent traveling to JFK and returning back to Manhattan during the evening rush hours totals 3 hours.

 

To adequately compensate Drivers for the additional time it takes to complete trips between Manhattan and JFK during the evening rush hour, the rules are amended to provide an evening surcharge for these trips. TLC staff calculated that Drivers can complete 9 regular metered fares, netting an additional $9 in rush hour surcharges, during the time it takes to complete flat rate trips to and from JFK during the evening rush hours. The amended rules provide a surcharge of $4.50 per trip on all Flat Rate trips between Manhattan and JFK on weekdays between 4:00 PM and 8:00 PM.

 

In 2014, Taxis completed on average almost 2,000 trips between Manhattan and JFK each weekday between the evening rush hours of 4:00 PM and 8:00 PM. A rush hour surcharge on the JFK Flat Rate will adequately compensate drivers as they meet this high demand for transportation to JFK.

Rush Hour Surcharge for Flat Rate SHL Trips from Manhattan to Kennedy Airport

The SHL Service Rules provide rates of fare for Hail Trips that mirror those in the Medallion Service Rules.  Accordingly, the SHL rules provide for an evening surcharge for all metered trips on weekdays between 4:00 PM and 8:00 PM.  Additionally, the SHL rules provide a Flat Rate for trips from the Manhattan Hail Zone to JFK.  A review of LPEP records reveal a similar increase in the amount of time it takes a SHL Driver to complete a Flat Rate trip to JFK during rush hours as compared to non-rush hours.  To adequately compensate SHL drivers as they complete Flat Rate trips from Manhattan to JFK during the evening rush hours, the amended rules provide a surcharge of $4.50 per trip on weekdays between 4:00 PM and 8:00 PM. 

 

 

The Commission’s authority for these rules is found in section 2303 of the New York City Charter and sections 19-503 and 19-511 of the New York City Administrative Code.

Effective Date: 
Sun, 10/25/2015

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Thursday, July 16, 2015
Proposed Rules Content: 

The Commission held a biennial review of the current fare and lease cap structure on April 2, 2015, as required under §52-04(b)(3-4) of the TLC Rules. The proposed rules are based on testimony and written comments received at the hearing, the review and analysis of Taxicab and Street Hail Livery (“SHL”) operations by TLC staff, and the solicitation of additional feedback from Drivers, taxi garage owners, and leasing Agents.

The proposed amendments to the Medallion Taxicab Service rules:

·        

Allow Medallion Owners and Agents who offer an “all-in” lease, which includes both the lease of the Medallion and the conditional purchase of a vehicle, to extend lease terms beyond the current 156-week maximum and enable lessees to make smaller weekly payments;

·        

Cap the total amount that can be charged for the conditional purchase of the vehicle;

·        

Require lessors to produce and maintain more detailed receipts for payments towards the vehicle purchase;

·        

Remove the optional gasoline surcharge for Medallion Owners or Agent lessors;

·        

Permit non-cash payments from lessors to Drivers, provided that any alternative payment method is offered at no additional cost to the Driver; and

·        

Provide for an evening rush hour surcharge for Flat Rate trips between John F. Kennedy Airport (“JFK”) and Manhattan.

The proposed amendment to the SHL Service rules provides for an evening rush hour surcharge for Flat Rate trips from Manhattan to JFK.

Lease Caps for All-In Leases

The proposed changes amend the rules for long-term leases to allow Medallion Owners and Agents to extend lease terms for leases that include both the lease of a Medallion as well as the conditional purchase of a vehicle (commonly referred to as the "all-in lease"). Currently, Medallion Owners and Agents may charge a weekly amount, which is capped by TLC rule, for up to 156 weeks for an all-in lease. This weekly cap includes both the Medallion portion of the lease as well as payments towards the conditional purchase of the vehicle. Once all payments are made at the end of the current 156-week term, the vehicle title can pass to the Driver if the Driver so requests. Medallion Owners, Agents, and Medallion Drivers have expressed interest in extending payments over longer periods of time to reduce weekly payments under the all-in model.

Under existing rules, lessors cannot enter into conditional purchase agreements with Drivers that require more than 156 weekly payments. Accordingly, lessors are unable to offer lower weekly payments over a longer period of time. The proposed rules permit lease terms to be extended beyond the current 156-week maximum and enable lessees to make smaller weekly payments.  The proposed rules also establish a cap on the total amount that may be charged for the vehicle portion of the all-in lease. The current all-in lease cap, after the removal of the Medallion portion of the lease, permits up to$42,900 in total payments over the course of 156 weeks for the purchase of the vehicle. Under the proposed rule, no Owner or Agent lessor would be allowed to charge more than the total amount of $42,900 for the vehicle portion of an all-in lease, irrespective of the term of the all-in agreement.

To protect drivers from lease overcharges, TLC proposes an additional itemized weekly cap of $275 for the vehicle portion of the lease. TLC also proposes amending rules on the receipts lessors must give Drivers for weekly payments and maintain in their records for Commission inspection. Under this proposed change, lessors must provide weekly to Drivers the following information:

·        

Receipt of that week’s payment, itemized by the Medallion portion of the lease and the conditional vehicle purchase portion of the lease;

·        

The cumulative amount of payments toward the conditional purchase of the vehicle;

·        

The remaining balance on the conditional purchase of the vehicle; and

·        

The estimated number of remaining payments required for the conditional purchase of the vehicle under the current contract terms.

If lessors fail to include this information, they will be fined $200.  To ensure that lessors retain these documents, which TLC must inspect to investigate allegations of overcharges, lessors will be fined $100 penalty for each missing document.

Gas Surcharge

In 2012, TLC adopted rules providing for an optional gasoline surcharge that could be offered to Drivers leasing Taxicabs on a daily or weekly basis.  The proposed rules remove this optional surcharge after outreach conducted by TLC staff indicated that it is not utilized by Taxicab lessors.

Non-Cash Payment Methods for Owner and Agent Lessors

Medallion Owner and Agent lessors are required to remit to Drivers all passenger fares paid by credit card.  TLC rules currently require that these payments be made in cash.  Both Drivers and lessors have requested that these payments be permitted in forms other than cash.  Given security concerns associated with requiring lessors to have large sums of cash on hand as well as similar concerns with Drivers leaving garages after having been paid out in cash, the proposed Rules would permit other forms of payment, such as payment by debit card, bank transfer, or check, so long as the other forms of payment are provided at no cost to Drivers.  Cashless payment can help streamline operations, allowing Fleets and Agents to reduce shift change times and enabling the exchange of vehicles between Drivers at off-site locations, both of which can help to expand Taxicab service to passengers at rush hour and provide additional fare opportunities to Drivers.  Additionally, Drivers have responded positively to cashless payment provided in other sectors of the City’s for-hire industry.  To ensure payment is made at no cost to Drivers, the proposed rule would add to the existing fine a penalty for an Owner or Agent who violates the rule to pay restitution to the Driver in the amount of any additional cost incurred by a Driver for payment. The proposed rules would also permit Drivers who lease Taxicabs on a weekly basis to choose to be paid out on a weekly basis, which conforms to current industry practice.

Rush Hour Surcharge for Flat Rate Taxi Trips between Manhattan and Kennedy Airport

In 2004, the Commission established an evening rush hour surcharge for weekday trips between 4:00 PM and 8:00 PM. The intent of the surcharge was to encourage Drivers to provide taxi service when supply is insufficient to meet passenger demand. However, the current evening rush hour surcharge does not apply to Flat Rate trips between Manhattan and JFK. Because of the amount of time it takes to make the round trip to JKF, including time spent waiting in the central hold lot, Drivers lose out on money they could have made via the surcharge on metered fares. These losses are amplified by the additional travel time to JFK during rush hours as compared to non-rush hours (56 minutes vs. 41 minutes). Including waiting time at JFK between fares, the average amount of time spent traveling to JFK and returning back to Manhattan during the evening rush hours totals 3 hours.

 

To adequately compensate Drivers for the additional time it takes to complete trips between Manhattan and JFK during the evening rush hour, TLC proposes an evening surcharge for these trips. TLC staff calculated that Drivers can complete 9 regular metered fares, netting an additional $9 in rush hour surcharges, during the time it takes to complete a trip to and from JFK during the evening rush hours. The proposed rules provide a surcharge of $4.50 per trip on all Flat Rate trips between Manhattan and JFK on weekdays between 4:00 PM and 8:00 PM.

 

In 2014, Taxis completed on average almost 2,000 trips between Manhattan and JFK each weekday between the evening rush hours of 4:00 PM and 8:00 PM. A rush hour surcharge on the JFK Flat Rate will adequately compensate drivers as they meet this high demand for transportation to JFK.

Rush Hour Surcharge for Flat Rate SHL Trips from Manhattan to Kennedy Airport

The SHL Service Rules provide rates of fare for Hail Trips that mirror those in the Medallion Service Rules.  Accordingly, the SHL rules provide for an evening surcharge for all metered trips on weekdays between 4:00 PM and 8:00 PM.  Additionally, the SHL rules provide a Flat Rate for trips from the Manhattan Hail Zone to JFK.  A review of LPEP records reveal a similar increase in the amount of time it takes a SHL Driver to complete a Flat Rate trip to JFK during rush hours as compared to non-rush hours.  To adequately compensate SHL drivers as they complete Flat Rate trips from Manhattan to JFK during the evening rush hours, the proposed rules provide a surcharge of $4.50 per trip on weekdays between 4:00 PM and 8:00 PM. 

 

 

The Commission’s authority for these rules is found in section 2303 of the New York City Charter and sections 19-503 and 19-511 of the New York City Administrative Code.

Subject: 

.Taxicab Fare and Lease Cap Rule Updates

Location: 
Taxi and Limousine Commission
33 Beaver St, 22nd Floor
New York, NY 10004
Contact: 

33 Beaver Street – 22nd Floor, New York, New York 10004
tlcrules@tlc.nyc.gov

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 

Statement of Basis and Purpose

 

These rules amend the Taxi and Limousine Commission’s (TLC) rules regarding limitations on license applications, amend the rules for driver license renewal to extend, at the Commission’s discretion, the renewal period of an expired driver license from 31 days to 90 days, remove the double-shifting requirement for fleet and mini-fleet medallions, amend vehicle retirement ages for taxicab and Black Car vehicles, amend the process by which drivers may reduce Critical Driver Program and Persistent Violator Program points, repeal the prohibition on power seats in Taxicabs, clarify which vehicle specification rules apply after the Official Taxicab Vehicle activation date, and amend provisions of the Critical Driver Program and Persistent Violator Program rules to mirror applicable provisions in the Administrative Code.  These rules are a result of discussions with stakeholders as well as a review by TLC staff of existing regulations that may be updated without compromising safety and consumer protections in TLC-regulated industries. The combined impact of these rule changes will positively impact the industry by making it easier to own and operate TLC-licensed vehicles in New York City.

 

Bans on Driver Applicants

 

Under TLC’s driver rules a number of specific incidents trigger automatic denial of a license application for a certain number of years. These limitations apply to all applicants for medallion, for-hire, paratransit, and commuter van driver licenses.  They were established in 2011 to clearly articulate minimum lengths of time between an incident which TLC determined causes an applicant to be unfit for licensure and the time at which the applicant may be eligible to apply for a license.  The purpose of these minimum standards was to avoid repeated submission of applications and application fees by applicants who were clearly not fit for licensure.  TLC has recently undertaken a review of the limitations and the related time periods associated with each type of incident and is changing some of the limitation criteria.   In line with the traffic safety goals of Vision Zero, TLC will continue to take into consideration all facets of an applicant’s history and background when determining if an applicant is fit to hold a license.

 

Currently, TLC does not accept a driver’s license application for two years from any person found driving for-hire without a TLC license or from any previously-licensed driver who has committed six or more violations of TLC rules.  These rules remove these limitations to permit a case-by-case review of an applicant’s fitness for licensure.  TLC does not want to delay the licensure of applicants who, although they were previously caught driving illegally for-hire, now wish to provide safe and licensed service.  Similarly, TLC does not want to delay the licensure of applicants who violated TLC rules six times without considering the specific rules violated as well as the time within which these violations occurred.

 

In addition, TLC currently does not allow a driver to reapply for a license for one year after a prior application was denied because the applicant was found not fit to hold a license. This period is measured from the date on which TLC denied the prior application.  Pursuant to these rules, this one-year period will now be counted from the date on which the applicant previously applied for a new license.

 

Finally, TLC currently does not accept license applications for three years from drivers whose TLC licenses were revoked, including those revoked under the Critical Driver or Persistent Violator programs.  This allows a driver, in the case of a prior Critical Driver or Persistent Violator revocation, to demonstrate a safe record of driving over a three-year period prior to being permitted to provide for-hire service again.  The three-year period currently begins when the TLC license is revoked by the Commission.   Since a TLC drivers license cannot be revoked under the Critical Driver or Persistent Violator programs until after the driver is convicted of the underlying DMV or TLC violations, there can be a delay in time between when the underlying violations occurred and when the driver’s TLC license is revoked.  TLC recognizes that a driver with no further traffic violations following the last violation triggering the revocation may be able to demonstrate three years of safe driving before the period, as currently measured, expires.  Therefore, drivers who can demonstrate three years of safe driving following the last violation triggering the revocation and prior to the end of the ban, may apply for a new license before the ban is lifted.

 

Renewal Extensions

 

TLC is increasing the amount of time a driver can postpone an expiration date on a current license.  Currently, TLC allows a one-time extension of 31 days to taxicab and For-Hire Vehicle drivers who request additional time to complete the renewal process.  TLC is extending the maximum time granted for an extension to 90 days to allow more time for licensees who may be, for example, out of the country and miss the opportunity to extend an expiration date.  Increasing the extension time will help prevent many drivers from having to reapply as new licensees.

 

Double-Shifting Requirement

 

TLC is repealing the double-shifting requirement that now applies to vehicles operating on certain taxicab medallions. Prior to this rule change, vehicles operated in Fleets and Minifleets were required under TLC rules to be driven at least two nine-hour shifts each day, including holidays and weekends.  The ability of Fleets and Minifleets to lease their medallions for two shifts per day depends on demand from drivers, and sometimes it is not possible for a Fleet or Minifleet to lease all of its medallions for two shifts every day. Other non-use rules prevent medallion owners from keeping their medallions out of service for an extended period of time, and TLC believes these are sufficient to ensure that taxis are sufficiently available.  Furthermore, Fleet and Minifleet operators have an economic incentive to lease their medallions for as many shifts as possible, and removing the double-shifting requirement enables them to use their business judgment to determine the optimal number of shifts for this purpose. 

 

Yellow Taxi Vehicle Retirement Schedules

 

In 1996, the Commission introduced retirement schedules for all taxicabs to improve the quality of vehicles on the road.  At that time, taxis were failing 71 percent of their tri-annual inspections.

[1]

 The oldest taxicab vehicles on the road in 1996 were more than ten years old.  Retirement requirements were established according to the operation schedule of each medallion type; vehicles operated on fleet medallions without long-term drivers were limited to three years in service, and medallions with long-term drivers (i.e., drivers who own or lease a medallion, are named on the rate card, and drive the taxicab at least 160 hours per month) were limited to five years.

 

These three- and five-year retirement schedules could be lengthened through retirement extensions offered for vehicles using Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and for minivans, incentivizing the adoption of certain vehicles through retirement extensions.  This continued when the New York City Council passed Local Law 52 of 2006, amending the New York City Administrative Code to extend retirement periods for wheelchair-accessible taxis and for hybrid-electric and other clean-air taxis.

 

Today, the retirement schedules for some taxis allow twice as much time on the road as others, even though in many cases the vehicles travel a comparable distance each year.   In fact, 55% of the taxis on the road today have a 7 year vehicle retirement.  Vehicles with different retirement schedules fail their inspections at about the same rate.  For both Minifleet and Independent Medallions, the inspection failure rate remains steady at about 30 percent after the second year of service, a complete reversal from the passing rate of 29 percent in 1995.

 

These high rates of success at TLC safety and emissions inspections suggest that most vehicles remain in good condition for many years of service.  Because vehicles perform better today, regardless of the length of time they are permitted to operate, than when retirement schedules were introduced, TLC has adopted a uniform retirement schedule of seven years for all vehicles which are Hacked-up after April 20, 2015.  This change will allow owners to keep vehicles on the road for their full useful lives and correspondingly reduce vehicle expenses, one of the larger expenses of taxicab operation.  TLC will continue to require the removal from service those vehicles that, regardless of their retirement date, fail to pass TLC’s safety and emission inspections.  Accompanying this change, TLC has removed all retirement extensions for vehicles Hacked-up after the same date, except the hardship extension provided in §67-19(a) of the TLC rules, so that all vehicles will retire after seven years.

[2]

 All vehicles Hacked-up before April 20, 2015, will remain subject to the retirement schedule assigned to them at Hack-up.

 

As to concerns that extending retirement schedules might impair TLC’s ability to meet its commitments to convert the fleet to a 50% accessible fleet by 2020, before proposing the universal seven year schedule, TLC reviewed the requirements of its commitments and, largely because of the extended retirement schedules already enjoyed by the vast majority of Taxicabs today and also because the accessibility commitment will begin as existing vehicles retire not the replacement vehicles to which the rules will apply, found that TLC can continue to meet its commitments under the proposed rules.

 

Black Car Vehicle Retirement Schedules

 

The Commission established retirement requirements for Black Cars in 2008, with the purpose of improving vehicle quality and service in the Black Car industry.  However, experience has shown that Black Car customers, who can choose among competing bases and, in many cases, even specify the type of vehicle they prefer, have substantial power to determine vehicle quality.  In contrast to yellow taxi service, where passengers do not preselect a taxi company or a vehicle model, Black Car services range from “no frills” companies to those which offer high-end service.  Black Car customers in some cases even pay a premium for a newer or higher-quality vehicle.  There is no single operational model in the Black Car industry, and applying a single vehicle retirement schedule for all companies is unnecessary due to existing market incentives to replace vehicles at a rate which satisfies customer demand.  Therefore, TLC is repealing the retirement requirement for Black Cars beginning with model year 2013.  For Black Cars model year 2012 and older, TLC has adopted a uniform seven-year vehicle retirement.  TLC will continue to require the removal from service those vehicles that, regardless of their retirement date, fail to pass TLC’s safety and emission inspections.    

 

Critical Driver Program and Persistent Violator Program Point Reduction

 

TLC is amending the point reduction provisions of the Critical Driver Program and Persistent Violator Program rules to allow drivers additional time to complete an approved point reduction course.  Sections 19-507.1 and 19-507.2 of the New York City Administrative Code govern the Persistent Violator and Critical Driver Programs, respectively.  Both provisions of the Administrative Code require that, for such a course to reduce a driver’s penalty points, the course attendance must be “voluntary.”  To avoid confusion and increase consistency in the adjudication of Critical Driver summonses, TLC amended the Critical Driver Program rules in 2011 to require that a course be completed prior to the issuance of the Critical Driver summons.  In order to encourage drivers to take proactive steps to improve their driving, TLC is amending the Critical Driver Program and Persistent Violator rules to permit drivers to reduce their points by voluntarily completing a point reduction course up until the hearing on a Critical Driver or Persistent Violator summons.

 

Power Seats

 

Finally, TLC repeals the prohibition on power seats in taxicabs to reflect the current fleet of available taxicab models.  In 1996, TLC prohibited vehicles with powers seats from being placed into service as taxicabs.  TLC is repealing this prohibition so that owners may purchase vehicles with this feature that would increase drivers’ comfort. 

 

These rules are authorized by Section 2303 of the Charter and Sections 19-503 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York

.

 

New material is underlined.

 

[Deleted material is in brackets.]

 




[1]

NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission. Hearing, January 18, 1996.

[2]

Local Law 52 of 2006, which requires extensions for accessible and clean-air vehicles, includes a provision which repeals the law for all vehicles going into service after April 17, 2014, enabling TLC to make the change to vehicle retirement schedules.

Effective Date: 
Sat, 05/30/2015

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