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Proposed Rules: Open to Comments

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Agency:
Comment By: 
Thursday, September 21, 2017
Proposed Rules Content: 

Statement of Basis and Purpose

Increasing access to the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission’s fleet of over 110,000 licensed vehicles is an important step to make New York City a place that is truly accessible to all of our residents and visitors, including those who use wheelchairs. In 2014 the TLC created a framework to introduce wheelchair accessible green and yellow taxis into the City’s fleet over time. To reach the for-hire vehicle sector (black cars, car services and luxury limousines)—which today transports at least 400,000 passengers each day—the TLC proposes an accessible service requirement that would put wheelchair accessible for-hire vehicles (FHVs) in circulation and available for the passengers who need them.

Specifically the TLC is proposing:

·        

Requiring all FHV bases to dispatch 25% of their trips in wheelchair accessible vehicles

·        

Giving every base the flexibility to dispatch to any wheelchair accessible for hire vehicle

The key to real accessible service is vehicle availability. Licensing wheelchair accessible vehicles alone does not achieve this goal. Generally, vehicles are available for service when they are in circulation. That is, they are steadily getting dispatches from a base and between trips the vehicles remain “at the ready.” That is true for standard vehicles, and it is equally true for accessible vehicles. If, as proposed, each base is required to dispatch a certain percentage of its trips to vehicles that are wheelchair accessible, then these vehicles will be on the road and available to pick up passengers that use wheelchairs who today are unable to get reliable for hire service.

For the base owners, the proposed rule would provide significant flexibility. Base owners would be able to dispatch to wheelchair accessible vehicles from both the livery and black car sectors, regardless of the base to which they are affiliated, and can also dispatch to existing wheelchair accessible green taxis in areas where green taxis are permitted to accept dispatches. Additionally, TLC proposes to phase in this requirement over a period of several years to reach 25% of trips. Availability of wheelchair accessible service is the governing factor in this policy, and the TLC will publicly review and report on actual response times to determine if adjustments to the program need to be made.

 

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.

Subject: 

.FHV Wheelchair Accessibility

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

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Thursday, June 29, 2017
Proposed Rules Content: 

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.

Subject: 

FHV Tipping Rules

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

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 

Licensing Rules Review

 

The Taxi and Limousine Commission (“TLC” or “Agency”) recently reviewed its rules on how applicants obtain and renew their TLC licenses.  As a result of this review, TLC is simplifying a number of rules. The amendments make it easier to own and operate a taxi or for-hire vehicle without compromising safety and consumer protections.

 

Renewing Expired Driver and Vehicle Licenses

 

TLC rules currently prohibit licensees from renewing expired licenses.

[1]

  Licensees who do not complete all renewal requirements before their license expires must apply for a new license and complete all new application requirements. Currently licensees must also submit their renewal application at least 30 days before the expiration date to avoid a $25 late fee.

 

TLC does permit licensees who can prove that an unanticipated event prevented them from renewing the license before it expired to ask for more time.  In these cases, drivers may request up to 90 more days to complete the renewal requirements, and For-Hire Vehicle (“FHV”), Paratransit, and Commuter Van vehicle owners may request 31 more days.  Licensees not granted an extension or who are outside the extension period may not renew their license.

 

The rule amendments:

·        

Permit any driver to renew an expired license up to six months after the driver license expiration date,

·        

Permit the renewal of expired vehicle licenses up to 60 days after the vehicle license expiration date,

[2]

and

·        

Apply the $25 late fee only to renewal applications submitted after the license has expired.   

 

Under the new process, licenses will remain expired until the licensee completes all renewal requirements, and, as is the case today, a driver may not provide services until the license has been renewed. Such expired licenses will not be included in the lists of active licensees used by bases to determine which drivers have valid licenses.

[3]

   Licensees will benefit because they will avoid having to reapply for a new license and comply with the requirements for new applicants so long as they meet the new extended deadlines.  To encourage licensees to submit renewal applications earlier than 30 days before the expiration date, the rules also warns that renewal applications submitted later than this may not be processed to completion until after the expiration date.

 

Experienced Driver Education Exemption

 

Beginning in 1999, all applicants for a new taxi driver license were required to complete the 24-hour Authorized Driver Education Training (“Driver School”) regardless of their prior experience as a licensed TLC driver. In 2014, the taxi education rules were amended to exempt from Driver School experienced drivers who were licensed before 1999. To obtain the exemption, a driver must have had a prior TLC license before 1999 and must have applied for a new TLC license no more than two years after the prior license expired. 

 

In 2016, TLC combined taxi and FHV driver licenses into one TLC Driver License.  A driver who wishes to drive either a taxi or FHV must now apply for a TLC Driver License and complete Driver School.  Although the experienced driver education exemption is available to all TLC Driver License applicants, it still applies only to those who had a prior license before 1999, making applicants for a new TLC Driver License who previously held an FHV license from 2000 to 2015 ineligible, regardless of  years of experience.

 

To qualify all drivers who should be exempt from the Driver School requirement based on their years of experience and not on when they received their license, the rule amendments establish “experience” based on the duration of prior licensure and eliminate the pre-1999 licensure requirement. Specifically:

·        

Applicants who are applying less than two years after their prior license expired are exempt if previously licensed for at least 10 years,

·        

Applicants who are applying between two and five years after their prior license expired are exempt if previously licensed for at least 15 years.

 

In addition, under the amended rules, TLC will no longer consider only one continuously-held prior license but will instead count the total years a driver was licensed by TLC.

[4]

  However, as before, any prior revocation of a TLC-issued driver license will render an applicant ineligible for this exemption.  If an applicant is eligible for the exemption, TLC will continue to apply the usual driver screening protocols including criminal background checks, driving record checks and drug testing before determining whether or not to grant the TLC Driver License.

 

Taxi Vehicle Hardship Extension Requests

 

In 2001, TLC amended its vehicle retirement rules to provide for a Hardship Extension, which allows a vehicle owner with an economic or other personal hardship to continue operating the vehicle beyond the vehicle retirement date which would otherwise apply. The extension was limited to Independent Taxicab Owners and Long-Term Drivers whose vehicles were generally perceived to be safer and better maintained than vehicles owned by fleets or minifleets.

[5]

 

Because TLC now holds all medallion owners to the same high safety standards, the reasons for limiting extensions to Independent Taxicab Owners and Long-Term Drivers no longer apply.  Additionally, data from TLC safety and emissions inspections reveal, regardless of a medallion’s classification, comparable yearly mileage and high inspection passing rates.  Therefore, in line with recent TLC rule changes which standardize requirements that apply across the two classes of medallions,

[6]

as well as recent City Administrative Code changes which removed the required ratio of independent and minifleet medallions,

[7]

the amended rules permit any taxi owner to request a Hardship Extension.   Vehicles granted an extension must continue to pass triannual safety and emissions inspections to remain in service.

 

Seizure and Forfeiture of Commuter Vans

 

Local Law No. 8 of 2017 added unlicensed commuter van activity to the list of activities prohibited by Section 19-506(b)(1) of the Administrative Code.  Accordingly, these amended rules clarify TLC’s authority to seize and forfeit vehicles operating as unlicensed commuter vans is based on Section 19-506(b)(1), as well as in any other provision in the Administrative Code or TLC rules prohibiting the operation of an unlicensed commuter van or unlicensed commuter van service.   

 

Other Commuter Van Amendments

 

This rule package also amends existing rules governing commuter van drivers, commuter van vehicle owners and commuter van service owners to reflect recent local laws signed by Mayor de Blasio on February 15, 2017.  Pursuant to these amendments, commuter vans are no longer required to carry passenger manifests, applicants for a commuter van service license are not required to submit statements of public support, and commuter van service licensees are not required to renew their authorization every six years.  Additionally, the local law amendments increased the penalties for operating a vehicle as a commuter van without a license.  These amendments will make it easier to own and operate a properly licensed commuter van service while adding a deterrent to operating such a service illegally.

 

Additional Clarifications

 

Finally, this rule package amends the definitions for Accessible Taxi Dispatcher and Dispatch Fee in chapter 58 of the TLC Rules to match the definitions of these terms in chapter 51, which were amended as part of the 2016 Citywide Accessible Dispatch rulemaking.  Additionally, this rule package removes the outdated Taxi Accessibility Fee definition set forth in chapter 58. 

 

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]

For example, TLC rule 80-06(e)(4) provides that applications for the renewal of a TLC Driver License will not be accepted after the expiration date and that such License cannot be renewed.

[2]

For vehicle owners, the period of time an expired license can be renewed is limited by the process through which TLC requests New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (“DMV”) revocation of DMV-issued TLC vehicle license plates.  After vehicle license plates are revoked, a vehicle owner must apply for a new TLC license before the DMV will issue new TLC license plates for the vehicle.     

[3]

The TLC-published lists of active licensees are used by TPEP and LPEP vendors to determine which drivers can log into taximeters, while FHV bases, Paratransit bases and Commuter Van service owners use these lists to determine which drivers and vehicles can provide service.

[4]

TLC will measure experience by determining the duration(s) of any prior TLC Driver License, Taxicab Driver License or FHV Driver License.  If an applicant held more than one license at the same time, TLC will only count one license for purposes of determining experience (for example, an applicant who previously held a Taxicab Driver License between January 1, 1997 and December 31, 2006 and a FHV Driver License between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2012 would have 15 years of experience).         

[5]

New York City Record, Jan. 29, 2002.

[6]

On February 25, 2016 the Commissioners repealed the owner must drive rules, which required that owners of Independent Medallions operate the Medallion a minimum number of hours each year.  Additionally, on April 23, 2015, the Commissioners adopted uniform taxi vehicle retirement rules, where different retirement lengths previously applied based on the classification of the associated Medallion.

[7]

2017 N.Y.C. Local Law No. 59 

Effective Date: 
Sat, 07/15/2017

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Friday, June 2, 2017
Proposed Rules Content: 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rules

 

Licensing Rules Review

 

The Taxi and Limousine Commission (“TLC” or “Agency”) recently reviewed its rules on how applicants obtain and renew their TLC licenses.  As a result of this review, TLC is considering simplifying a number of rules. The proposed amendments would make it easier to own and operate a taxi or for-hire vehicle without compromising safety and consumer protections.

 

Renewing Expired Driver and Vehicle Licenses

 

TLC rules currently prohibit licensees from renewing expired licenses.

[1]

  Licensees who do not complete all renewal requirements before their license expires must apply for a new license and complete all new application requirements. Currently licensees must also submit their renewal application at least 30 days before the expiration date to avoid a $25 late fee.

 

TLC does permit licensees who can prove that an unanticipated event prevented them from renewing the license before it expired to ask for more time.  In these cases, drivers may request up to 90 more days to complete the renewal requirements, and For-Hire Vehicle (“FHV”), Paratransit, and Commuter Van vehicle owners may request 31 more days.  Licensees not granted an extension or who are outside the extension period may not renew their license.

 

The proposed rules would:

·        

Permit any driver to renew an expired license up to six months after the driver license expiration date,

·        

Permit the renewal of expired vehicle licenses up to 60 days after the vehicle license expiration date,

[2]

and

·        

Apply the $25 late fee only to renewal applications submitted after the license has expired.   

 

Under the new process, licenses would remain expired until the licensee completes all renewal requirements, and, as is the case today, a driver may not provide services until the license has been renewed. Such expired licenses would not be included in the lists of active licensees used by bases to determine which drivers have valid licenses.

[3]

   Licensees would still benefit because they will avoid having to reapply for a new license and comply with the requirements for new applicants so long as they meet the new extended deadlines.  To encourage licensees to submit renewal applications earlier than 30 days before the expiration date, the proposed rules also warns that renewal applications submitted later than this may not be processed to completion until after the expiration date.

 

Experienced Driver Education Exemption

 

Beginning in 1999, all applicants for a new taxi driver license were required to complete the 24-hour Authorized Driver Education Training (“Driver School”) regardless of their prior experience as a licensed TLC driver. In 2014, the taxi education rules were amended to exempt from Driver School experienced drivers who were licensed before 1999. To obtain the exemption, a driver must have had a prior TLC license before 1999 and must have applied for a new TLC license no more than two years after the prior license expired. 

 

In 2016, TLC combined taxi and FHV driver licenses into one TLC Driver License.  A driver who wishes to drive either a taxi or FHV must now apply for a TLC Driver License and complete Driver School.  Although the experienced driver education exemption is available to all TLC Driver License applicants, it still applies only to those who had a prior license before 1999, making applicants for a new TLC Driver License who previously held an FHV license from 2000 to 2015 ineligible, regardless of  years of experience.

 

To qualify all drivers who should be exempt from the Driver School requirement based on their years of experience and not on when they received their license, the proposed rules would establish “experience” based on the duration of prior licensure and eliminate the pre-1999 licensure requirement. Specifically:

·        

Applicants who are applying less than two years after their prior license expired would be exempt if previously licensed for at least 10 years,

·        

Applicants who are applying between two and five years after their prior license expired would be exempt if previously licensed for at least 15 years.

 

In addition, under the proposed rules, TLC would no longer consider only one continuously-held prior license but would instead count the total years a driver was licensed by TLC.

[4]

  However, as before, any prior revocation of a TLC-issued driver license would render an applicant ineligible for this exemption.  If an applicant is eligible for the exemption, TLC would continue to apply the usual driver screening protocols including criminal background checks, driving record checks and drug testing before determining whether or not to grant the TLC Driver License.

 

Taxi Vehicle Hardship Extension Requests

 

In 2001, TLC amended its vehicle retirement rules to provide for a Hardship Extension, which allows a vehicle owner with an economic or other personal hardship to continue operating the vehicle beyond the vehicle retirement date which would otherwise apply. The extension was limited to Independent Taxicab Owners and Long-Term Drivers whose vehicles were generally perceived to be safer and better maintained than vehicles owned by fleets or minifleets.

[5]

 

Because TLC now holds all medallion owners to the same high safety standards, the reasons for limiting extensions to Independent Taxicab Owners and Long-Term Drivers no longer apply.  Additionally, data from TLC safety and emissions inspections reveal, regardless of a medallion’s classification, comparable yearly mileage and high inspection passing rates.  Therefore, in line with recent TLC rule changes which standardize requirements that apply across the two classes of medallions,

[6]

as well as recent City Administrative Code changes which removed the required ratio of independent and minifleet medallions,

[7]

the proposed rules would permit any taxi owner to request a Hardship Extension.   Vehicles granted an extension must continue to pass triannual safety and emissions inspections to remain in service.

 

Seizure and Forfeiture of Commuter Vans

 

Local Law No. 8 of 2017 added unlicensed commuter van activity to the list of activities prohibited by Section 19-506(b)(1) of the Administrative Code.  Accordingly, these proposed rules would  clarify that TLC’s authority to seize and forfeit vehicles operating as unlicensed commuter vans is based on Section 19-506(b)(1), as well as in any other provision in the Administrative Code or TLC rules prohibiting the operation of an unlicensed commuter van or unlicensed commuter van service.   

 

Other Commuter Van Amendments

 

The proposed rules would also amend existing rules governing commuter van drivers, commuter van vehicle owners and commuter van service owners to reflect recent local laws signed by Mayor de Blasio on February 15, 2017.  Pursuant to these amendments, commuter vans are no longer required to carry passenger manifests, applicants for a commuter van service license are not required to submit statements of public support, and commuter van service licensees are not required to renew their authorization every six years.  Additionally, the local law amendments increased the penalties for operating a vehicle as a commuter van without a license.  These proposed amendments would make it easier to own and operate a properly licensed commuter van service while adding a deterrent to operating such a service illegally.

 

Additional Clarifications

 

Finally, the proposed rules would amend the definitions for Accessible Taxi Dispatcher and Dispatch Fee in chapter 58 of the TLC Rules to match the definitions of these terms in chapter 51, which were amended as part of the 2016 Citywide Accessible Dispatch rulemaking.  Additionally, the proposed rules would remove the outdated Taxi Accessibility Fee definition set forth in chapter 58. 

 

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]

For example, TLC rule 80-06(e)(4) provides that applications for the renewal of a TLC Driver License will not be accepted after the expiration date and that such License cannot be renewed.

[2]

For vehicle owners, the period of time an expired license can be renewed is limited by the process through which TLC requests New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (“DMV”) revocation of DMV-issued TLC vehicle license plates.  After vehicle license plates are revoked, a vehicle owner must apply for a new TLC license before the DMV will issue new TLC license plates for the vehicle.     

[3]

The TLC-published lists of active licensees are used by TPEP and LPEP vendors to determine which drivers can log into taximeters, while FHV bases, Paratransit bases and Commuter Van service owners use these lists to determine which drivers and vehicles can provide service.

[4]

TLC will measure experience by determining the duration(s) of any prior TLC Driver License, Taxicab Driver License or FHV Driver License.  If an applicant held more than one license at the same time, TLC will only count one license for purposes of determining experience (for example, an applicant who previously held a Taxicab Driver License between January 1, 1997 and December 31, 2006 and a FHV Driver License between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2012 would have 15 years of experience).         

[5]

New York City Record, Jan. 29, 2002.

[6]

On February 25, 2016 the Commissioners repealed the owner must drive rules, which required that owners of Independent Medallions operate the Medallion a minimum number of hours each year.  Additionally, on April 23, 2015, the Commissioners adopted uniform taxi vehicle retirement rules, where different retirement lengths previously applied based on the classification of the associated Medallion.

[7]

2017 N.Y.C. Local Law No. 59 

Subject: 

.TLC Licensing Rules Updates

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

Mail. You can mail written comments to the Taxi and Limousine Commission, Office of Legal Affairs, 33 Beaver Street – 22nd Floor, New York, New York 10004.
Fax. You can fax written comments to the Taxi and Limousine Commission, Office of Legal Affairs, at 212-676-1102.
Email. You can email written comments to tlcrules@tlc.nyc.gov.

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: 

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

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Thursday, March 5, 2015
Proposed Rules Content: 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rules

The proposed rules amend the Taxi and Limousine Commission’s (TLC) current 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 60 days, remove the double-shifting requirement for fleet and mini-fleet medallions, and amend vehicle retirement ages for taxicab and Black Car vehicles.  These proposals 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 current driver rules a number of specific incidents trigger automatic denial of a license application for a certain number of years. These limitations currently 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 proposing changes to 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.  TLC proposes removing 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.  TLC proposes that this one-year period 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 summonses, 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, TLC proposes that 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 proposes 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 proposes extending the time granted for an extension to 60 days to allow more time for licensees who may be 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 proposes repealing the double-shifting requirement that now applies to vehicles operating on certain taxicab medallions. Currently, vehicles operated in Fleets and Minifleets are 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.   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 proposes 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.  Accompanying this change, TLC proposes removing 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.

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 proposes repealing the retirement requirement for Black Cars beginning with model year 2013.  For Black Cars model year 2012 and older, TLC proposes a uniform seven-year vehicle retirement. 

Power Seats

Finally, TLC proposes repealing 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 wishes to repeal 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.




[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 proposed change to vehicle retirement schedules.

Subject: 

TLC Proposed Driver and Vehicle Owner Reform Rule

Location: 
33 Beaver Street 19th Floor
New York, NY 10004
Contact: 

Taxi and Limousine Commission, Office of Legal Affairs, tlcrules@tlc.nyc.gov

Download Copy of Proposed Rule (.pdf): 

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

Agency:
Comment By: 
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Proposed Rules Content: 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Rule

In response to changing industry dispatching practices resulting from the introduction of smart phones, the TLC is proposing a new rule that will:

·         require FHV bases to submit trip records to the TLC,

·         prohibit dispatching another base’s vehicles without an agreement between the bases,

·         prohibit dispatching a vehicle affiliated with a different class of FHV base,

·         require Bases that are members of the Black Car fund to bill and collect the surcharge for that Fund for every trip they dispatch,

·         require bases dispatching vehicles from a different base to provide the customer with the name and license number of the base with which the dispatched car is affiliated, and

·         establish a violation for failing to comply with certain portions of the new rule.

Background

Current Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) rules allow a For-Hire Vehicle (FHV) base (Livery, Black Car or Luxury Limousine) to dispatch a for-hire vehicle affiliated with another base when the passenger is told that this is the case at the time the passenger requests the ride.  Until recently, the industry practice, though not required by current TLC rules, has been to dispatch vehicles affiliated with another base only if there is an agreement between the bases.  In addition, the industry practice has been to dispatch only vehicles of the same class; e.g.  a Livery base would not dispatch a Black Car.

Most new market entrants who use smart phones to dispatch vehicles have followed these industry practices.  Recently, however, bases that dispatch using only smartphone applications began dispatching vehicles affiliated with other bases, including bases of other classes.  This is being done without the knowledge or consent of the vehicles’ affiliated bases.  These new practices have given rise to problems not addressed in the TLC’s rules:

·         First, the current rules do not specify what information the customer must be provided and do not provide a way for the TLC to identify the driver of a dispatched vehicle, whose name and license number are needed to enforce safety and consumer protection regulations.

·         Second, cross-class dispatches, and dispatches of unaffiliated vehicles from bases without an agreement with the dispatching base, put drivers at risk of losing Workers’ Compensation benefits if a crash occurs during a trip.

 

To assess the extent of these problems and find  solutions, TLC met or spoke with representatives from the Black Car industry, the Livery industry, the Black Car Fund, the Livery Fund, the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board, smartphone app companies, insurance providers, driver organizations, and passenger groups.  The TLC also conducted field tests using various smartphone apps used by bases to dispatch vehicles, and spoke with drivers receiving dispatches through the apps.  This proposed rule incorporates information collected and knowledge gathered from these meetings and field tests.  The proposed rule also reflects TLC’s safety and accountability goals, including its Vision Zero goals.

 

Identifying Drivers

There are currently over 65,000 licensed FHV drivers and 42,000 licensed for-hire vehicles compared to just over 50,000 licensed Yellow Taxi drivers,13,698 Yellow Taxis, 5,496 Street Hail Liveries.  While TLC can identify and hold accountable Yellow Taxis and Street Hail Liveries and their drivers through electronic trip records, no such mechanism exists for this larger section of the for-hire transportation industry.  Without a record of the trip, TLC does not have a way to fairly enforce against drivers across service types, which leaves a wide accountability gap between drivers of Yellow Taxis and drivers of FHVs.  Additionally, without trip records, TLC does not know the number of trips the FHV industry is dispatching as a whole.

 

TLC needs to be able to identify the driver in each trip of one of its licensed vehicles, particularly if a vehicle is involved in a crash or if there is a service complaint against the driver.  For vehicles with required in-vehicle technology (Yellow Taxis and Street Hail Liveries), TLC identifies the driver through electronic trip records, which include the driver license number associated with each trip.  For FHVs, which are currently not required to have in-vehicle technology, TLC can identify the driver by requesting dispatch records from the vehicle’s affiliated base.  Each FHV must affiliate with one and only one base, and all FHV bases are required to maintain a record for each trip they dispatch, which must include the driver’s For-Hire license number, the date and time of the dispatch, and the passenger pick up location.  If the TLC has the license plate number of a vehicle, the TLC can determine what base that vehicle is affiliated with, and contact that base for the dispatch record, which will identify the driver of that vehicle.  However, if the base with which this vehicle is affiliated (the “home base”) does not know about or have a record of the trip because the trip was dispatched by another base, the TLC is not able to identify the driver for that particular trip by contacting that vehicle’s home base.  In these cases where the TLC only has information about the vehicle’s license plate, the TLC cannot identify the driver.  The base that dispatched the trip, and which is currently required to keep a record of it, is unknown to both TLC and the vehicle’s home base.

 

This lack of information poses a serious difficulty for TLC’s Vision Zero goal of ensuring that its licensed drivers are the safest on the road.  To achieve this goal, the agency is carrying out a wide range of initiatives, from outreach and education to incentives and enforcement.  In particular, TLC is focusing on issuing summonses for speeding — the leading cause of traffic fatalities in New York City — and running red lights.  To do so, TLC needs to be able to identify the driver who committed the offense.  When the home base does not have the dispatch record for the trip during which the offense took place because the vehicle was dispatched without the home base’s knowledge, there is no way for TLC to identify the offending driver.

Also important is protecting the rights of consumers who file complaints that a driver violated the law, such as by overcharging, driving recklessly, or failing to comply with TLC prohibitions on service refusals.  Often, the passenger does not have the driver’s name or license number, but does have the vehicle’s license plate or the home base name/number displayed on the side of the car.  If the driver cannot be identified because the vehicle was dispatched by a base other than its home base, it is difficult for TLC to issue summonses for violations of its consumer protection rules and provide passengers with the redress to which they are entitled.

To address driver accountability, the proposed rule requires all FHV bases to submit to the TLC the trip records they are currently required to maintain pursuant to §59B-19 of the TLC Rules.  The current rule requires that bases maintain for each trip they dispatch a record of the date, time, and location of the passenger to be picked up, and the driver’s For-Hire License number.  Although bases must make these records available for inspection by the TLC, they are not currently required to submit them regularly to the TLC.  By requiring bases to provide these records routinely to the TLC for all trips they dispatch, including dispatches of vehicles from other bases, the TLC will be able to identify both the driver and the dispatching base for all FHV trips. 

Driver Protection and Base Liability

Cross-class dispatching and dispatching vehicles affiliated with another base create Workers’ Compensation coverage problems for FHV drivers.  Pursuant to State law and TLC Rules, all FHV bases must maintain New York State Workers’ Compensation coverage for all of the drivers they dispatch.  For Black Car bases and Luxury Limousine bases, State law dictates that these bases provide Workers’ Compensation coverage through membership in the Black Car Operators’ Injury Compensation Fund (“Black Car Fund”) if they own less than half of the vehicles they dispatch.  Livery bases must provide Workers’ Compensation either through membership in the Livery Fund or by individually maintaining Workers’ Compensation coverage for all drivers dispatched.

Under both funds, Workers’ Compensation coverage for injuries which occur on a dispatch is determined by the dispatching base type; i.e. if a trip is dispatched by a Livery Fund member base, regardless of the type of base the vehicle is affiliated with, the Livery Fund rules govern the coverage.  The State laws governing the respective Funds also place additional restrictions on Workers’ Compensation coverage.  New York State Executive Law §160-aaa, which governs the Livery Fund, specifically limits the drivers the Livery Fund will cover to drivers of vehicles affiliated with Livery Fund member bases.  Since coverage is determined by the dispatching base type, if a Livery base dispatched a vehicle affiliated with a Black Car base, the Livery Fund would not cover the Black Car driver, as the vehicle is affiliated with a Black Car base.  Similarly, the Black Car Fund would not cover the driver as the trip was not dispatched by a member Black Car base.  This leaves the driver of the cross-class dispatched Black Car without Workers’ Compensation insurance coverage.  The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board has indicated that the driver of a cross-class dispatched Livery vehicle may be without coverage as well.  This is because the Black Car Fund rules do not clearly and specifically provide coverage for a Livery driver dispatched by a Black Car base.  The Black Car Fund has also indicated that it would not cover a Livery driver dispatched by a Black Car base.

In addition to the State law requirements governing the funds, the Black Car Fund and the Livery Fund each have their own rules governing what drivers and what trips the Funds will cover.  The Livery Fund’s rules, codified in Part 309 of Title 12 of the New York Codes, Rules and Regulations, state the Fund will only cover a driver on a trip dispatched by the base with which his or her vehicle is affiliated or, as the Livery Fund has told the TLC, if two Livery Fund member bases have an agreement covering dispatch.  The Black Car Fund rules, located at http://www.newyorkblackcarfund.org/files/nybcoicf_operations_plan_amend_10.pdf, provide Workers’ Compensation coverage for Black Car drivers dispatched by Black Car bases, but specify terms that must be in contracts between the bases, such as which base is required to bill and remit the surcharge on a particular trip, in order to provide coverage.  So, when an FHV driver is dispatched by a base other than his or her home base, unless the bases have an agreement, the driver may be without Workers’ Compensation coverage.

Having another base dispatch a base’s affiliated vehicles also creates civil liability issues for the home base.  If a dispatched vehicle gets in to a crash, injured parties will look to the driver and the base whose name is affiliated to the vehicle for recovery, regardless of if that base is the base that dispatched the vehicle.  An affiliated base may be brought in to litigation over a trip which took place without the base’s knowledge or permission.  While the affiliated base may ultimately prevail in any such proceeding, litigation, regardless of outcome, poses serious financial and time costs to bases.

The proposed rule follows the New York Worker’s Compensation Board’s guidance and provides that a base is only permitted to dispatch vehicles affiliated with bases belonging to the same insurance fund, thereby eliminating cross-class dispatching: e.g. a base that is a member of the Black Car Fund can only dispatch another Black Car Fund member base’s vehicles and a base that is a member of the Livery Fund can only dispatch another Livery Fund member base’s vehicles.  Eliminating cross-class dispatching will ensure that all drivers have Workers’ Compensation coverage and will clarify what specific Fund is responsible for providing that coverage.

 

Subject: 

FHV Dispatch Rules

Location: 
TLC
33 Beaver Street 19th Floor
New York, NY 10004
Download Copy of Proposed Rule (.pdf):