Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments
Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rule
A number of companies have approached the TLC about introducing services that would allow taxicab passengers within the City to arrange on demand taxi service through an electronic hail (E-Hail) application sent from a smartphone or other electronic device. Passenger survey data obtained by the TLC indicates that more than 50% of those questioned were interested in both the ability to E-Hail a taxicab (57%), and the ability to pay for their fare (55%) using an electronic device (E-Payment). TLC’s current governing regulations, many of which predate E-Hail technology, do not authorize such services.
As E-Hail applications have emerged, TLC has undertaken serious diligence in exploring options that will encourage innovation and provide new and desired services to taxi passengers. To expand such passenger amenities, TLC and the City wish to permit E-Hails. These proposed rules, which apply to medallion owners, application developers and taxicab drivers who may engage in E-Hails, will modify TLC’s current regulations to allow passengers to E-Hail New York taxicabs.
The proposed rule changes include:
- Additions to Definitions (Chapter 51) to include terms related to E-Hail.
- Amendments to prohibit a Driver from charging a Passenger any fee above TLC-approved rates for an E-Hail trip , describing the payment process through T-PEP for E-Hail, establishing restrictions on the use of E-Hail Applications by a Driver including prohibited locations, and requiring Drivers to utilize only E-Hail Applications licensed and approved by TLC. (Chapter 54). Amendments regarding Owner payments to Drivers for E-Hail trips, the requirement that the Taximeter be used to calculate the time and distance charges for all E-Hail trips and that E-Hail Applications that also provide E-Payment must operate through the T-PEP system (Chapter 58).
- Amendments that require that all Taxicabs be equipped with a T-PEP system that includes the collection and transmission of data on all trips including E-Hail trips (Chapter 67).
Purpose of Proposed Rules
These proposed rules will modify TLC’s current regulations to accommodate electronic hailing (E-Hail) of taxicabs with the aim of improving the City’s taxicab and for-hire services for Passengers and Drivers.
The proposed rules:
- Modify requirements for Drivers for E-Hail Application and E-Payment use.
- Require E-Hail Applications that also provide E-Payment to integrate with T-PEP and that Trip Record information be collected by T-PEP for E-Hail trips.
- Clarify when and where a Driver may use an E-Hail Application.
- Modify T-PEP requirements to require integration between T-PEP and E-Hail Applications.
In addition, these proposed rules provide for the licensing of the providers of E-Hail applications and establish standards for usage, security and other features to ensure that application usage does not interfere with the ability of the T-PEP technology to collect and accurately record trip data. Accordingly, the Commission proposes rules (in the form of a new Chapter 78) to license E-hail applications.
Specifically, these rules:
- Establish licensing standards and requirements for E-Hail application providers
- Establish a one year license term
- Require applications that also provide E-Hail Payment to integrate with T-PEP
- Set forth technical requirements for E-Hail applications
- Set forth security standards for E-Hail applications that process payments
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.