FHV Tipping

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Thursday, June 29, 2017

Statement of Basis and Purpose

On February 16, 2017, the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (“TLC”) received a Petition to Initiate Rule Making from the Independent Drivers Guild to establish rules governing tipping in the For-Hire Vehicle (“FHV”) industry.  The Independent Drivers Guild is a nonprofit labor organization that represents For-Hire Vehicle Drivers that drive for some of the larger For-Hire Vehicle bases.

Under current rules, taxis must offer passengers the ability to tip drivers using cash or a credit card.  However, no such rule exists for FHV bases.  At an April 6, 2017 hearing on driver economics, and in over 2,000 e-mails TLC received in support of the Petition, the TLC heard from drivers that many bases require passengers to pay the fare using a credit card, but do not allow for tipping on a credit card.  Passengers that book trips through such bases that do not have any cash on them are unable to tip their drivers if they wish to do so, leaving both passengers and drivers at a disadvantage. 

The Petition specifically called on the TLC to initiate rulemaking to require FHV bases that allow passengers to book trips through smartphone applications to include an in-app gratuity option. These proposed rules incorporate the proposal put forward by the Petition, but are applicable to all bases, not just those that use smartphone applications, to ensure that all passengers can tip drivers seamlessly, regardless of whether they used an app or called a car service for a ride. 

The proposed rules would require FHV bases to allow passengers to tip drivers using the same method of payment they use to pay for the fare. Specifically, if a company restricts fare payment to payment by credit card, then the company must permit tipping using a credit card. Companies which only accept cash, would only be required to permit tipping in cash.

Bases may continue to allow passengers to tip using other payment methods, but they must allow passengers to tip using the same payment method they use to pay for the fare. Allowing tipping using the same payment methods used for paying the fare will make it easier for passengers that want to tip to do so.

The proposed rules would also require bases to remit to drivers the entirety of all of their tips, regardless of the payment method used to tip the driver.

 

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

Public Hearing
Subject: 

FHV Tipping Rules

Public Hearing Date: 
Thursday, July 13, 2017 - 10:00am
Location: 
TLC Commission Meeting Room
33 Beaver Street 19th Floor
New York, NY 10004