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

Agency:
Comment By: 
Friday, September 28, 2018
Proposed Rules Content: 

 

STATEMENT OF BASIS AND PURPOSE OF RULES

 

On Tuesday, August 14, 2018 Mayor de Blasio signed into law legislation that mandates these proposed rules. Intro 890-B reiterates the Agency’s authority to establish a driver pay floor and Intro 144-B provides the same support for the Agency’s authority to require the provision of certain data from for-hire vehicle (FHV) service providers. The proposed rules would provide protections relating to income and financial transparency to For-Hire-Vehicle (FHV) drivers and yellow taxi drivers.

 

 FHV Drivers

 

 As the number of Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) FHV drivers has grown by more than 80 thousand since 2014, drivers are working longer hours for fewer trips and less pay, while bearing a significant share of the expenses for providing for hire service. Over 80,000 drivers now drive for the four largest FHV companies in New York City, which operate through the apps Uber, Lyft, Gett/Juno, and Via (collectively the “Largest FHV Companies”). These four companies account for over 75% of FHV trips. Despite economic success of these companies, reflected in the massive growth in the number of trips in recent years from roughly 42 million trips in 2015 to nearly 159 million trips in 2017, the majority of drivers have not seen an increase in income.

 

 

 

Driver Earnings. Based on six hours of testimony provided during the April 2017 TLC Commission hearing on driver income and expenses, meetings with industry stakeholders, including driver groups, and a TLC survey of drivers, the TLC determined that driver earnings are falling. In response to this growing evidence of declining driver pay, TLC commissioned two labor economists from the Center for New York City Affairs at the New School and the University of California, Berkeley, respectively,  to study the economics of New York City’s FHV industry, including driver income and earnings (“the Report”), which is available at http://www.centernyc.org/an-earnings-standard/.

 

 

 

Using driver earnings data from the Largest FHV Companies, the report found that FHV driver median earnings declined by almost $3.00 per hour  from $25.78 in September of 2016 to $22.90 in October of 2017, a decrease of 11.17%. Eighty-five percent of these drivers are earning less than the equivalent of the $15.00 minimum wage (which was determined to be $17.22 to account for the fact that Largest FHV Companies treat these drivers as independent contractors and therefore, unlike employees, drivers are responsible for additional payroll taxes and do not receive paid time off).

 

 Driver Expenses. As currently structured, the Largest FHV Companies’ business model involves significant financial investment and risk on the part of drivers. The FHV Companies do not pay for the expenses of purchasing, leasing or operating a vehicle and most do not pay for labor outside of trips, i.e. while idle waiting for a dispatch, but these costs are substantial. From 2015-2017, over 30,000 vehicles with the current or prior model year were licensed as FHVs. At a purchase price of $25,000 – roughly the market price of a Toyota Camry, the most common vehicle used for-hire – that amounts to $750,000,000 drivers have invested purchasing new cars before any financing is taken into account. Also, because companies classify drivers as independent contractors and not employees, they avoid common employer requirements such as paid time off, health care, and collective bargaining. 

 

 A significant portion of each fare drivers receive must go toward covering their vehicle costs and other expenses. The average cost for a driver to license, register, and operate a 2017 Toyota Camry is at least $400 per week, adding up to over $20,000 per year. Unlike drivers in other markets, these are vehicle expenses many drivers would not have were they not driving for hire. Eighty percent of drivers took on the significant cost of car ownership and maintenance mainly to earn a living by driving. In New York City, the majority of TLC-licensed drivers drive for over 30 hours per week. Sixty-five percent of drivers work full time and 54 percent are the primary earner in their household.

 

 

 

The Report confirmed the need for action to protect drivers against further decreases in their earnings. To reverse the trends of declining earnings and trips per driver, the proposed rules address pay per trip as a function of both expenses and compensation, as well as how often drivers are on a trip per working hour, a factor referred to as utilization.

 

 The commission hearing and stakeholder input also underscored the need for more transparency in the financial relationships among FHV drivers, vehicle owners, and bases. This need is also reflected in the proposed rules.

 

 Proposed Driver Pay Rules. TLC is proposing rules to protect driver earnings. The proposed driver earnings policy is as follows:

 

  • Minimum Per-trip Payment Formula. TLC’s proposed rules would establish a minimum per-trip payment formula to provide drivers a minimum take-home pay after covering their expenses and taking into account drivers’ time, both time spent driving passengers, and time spent waiting for a dispatch and then traveling to pick up passengers.  These two latter factors will be considered a base’s Utilization Rate, and calculated by dividing the total amount of time drivers spend transporting passengers on trips dispatched by the base by the total amount of time drivers are available to accept dispatches from the base.

 

  • The proposed policy would establish a means for determining the minimum amount the Largest FHV Companies must pay a driver per trip. This would result in estimated typical gross hourly earnings before expenses of at least $25.76 per hour. The minimum driver pay would be determined using one of the below formulas, developed with both the expenses of non-accessible vehicles (non-WAVs) and the higher expenses of wheelchair-accessible vehicles (WAVs) in mind. The non-WAV formula would apply to trips performed in vehicles that are not equipped to transport passengers in wheelchairs (non-WAVs), and the WAV formula would apply to trips performed in vehicles equipped to transport passengers in wheelchairs (WAVs):

 

           
     

 

 

 

  • Sample Calculation. For an unshared, non-WAV trip that is 7.5 miles and 30 minutes long at the current industry-wide average utilization of 58%, you would see the following result:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alternatively, for the same trip in an unshared, non-WAV dispatched by a base with a utilization of 70%, you would see the following result:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Covering Driver Expenses and Ensuring Minimum Compensation. The non-WAV formula requires a minimum payment of $0.580 for each mile of a trip, divided by a company-specific utilization rate, to cover a typical driver’s expenses, such as vehicle purchase or lease, fuel, maintenance and insurance. Given their higher purchase and operating costs, wheelchair-accessible vehicles have a higher per mile rate of $0.803 divided by a company-specific utilization rate. The formula also requires a minimum payment of $0.287 for each minute the driver spends transporting passengers, divided by a company-specific utilization rate, to ensure a minimum compensation after expenses taking into account working time spent without a passenger. For a typical non-WAV driver, this results in gross earnings of $25.76 per hour and net income of $17.22 per hour after expenses. This figure is the equivalent of $15 per hour for a regular employee.  The additional $2.22 accounts for the 7.65 percent ($1.32 per hour) drivers must pay in payroll taxes (covered by employers for their employees) plus 6 percent ($0.90 per hour) for paid time off (representing the average time off compensation value as a share of a transportation industry worker’s overall compensation according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

 

  • Driver Utilization. The proposed rules would also account for the percentage of a driver’s on-duty time that is spent with a passenger in their car, or utilization. The per-mile and per-minute driver expense and compensation rates would be tailored to each of the Largest FHV Companies based on how frequently each company sends trips to their drivers while they are available to work.  The companies with lower utilization rates would be required to pay higher driver compensation per trip to offset the time their drivers are waiting for a dispatch. The TLC will assess the driver utilization of each of the Largest FHV Companies on a regular basis and adjust and make public the company’s per-mile and per-minute driver compensation rates accordingly.

 

·       Shared Rides. Drivers often do not benefit financially from providing shared rides; the 40 percent of drivers with the lowest estimated hourly earnings disproportionately provide shared rides. To compensate drivers for the additional time and customer service required to provide efficient for-hire service, each pick-up for a shared ride would entitle the driver to a Shared Ride Bonus, in addition to minimum mile and minute rates. The TLC will set the Shared Ride Bonus value and post it on the TLC’s website after analyzing driver income and expenses for shared rides and the occupancy rates for vehicles performing shared rides.

 

 

 

Scope of Driver Pay Rules. The proposed rules would apply to the Largest FHV Companies, defined as bases operating under the same “doing business as” name, dispatching at least 10,000 trips per day. In 2016 and 2017, the four Largest FHV Companies accounted for more than 75 percent of all FHV trips, providing more than 400,000 average daily trips as a group in 2017. In comparison, the highest total for the fifth largest FHV company was fewer than 3,000 average daily trips. The Largest FHV Companies’ fleets also work with significantly more vehicles than their smaller competitors. Large companies have achieved the economies of scale that enable them to make the financial, operational or other adjustments necessary to accommodate the driver earnings policy proposed in these rules.

 

Impact of Driver Pay Rules. In addition to their analysis of TLC data, the labor economists retained by TLC conducted a prospective economic impact analysis of the proposed per trip payment formula and determined that this policy would benefit drivers with minimal disruption to passengers. This policy is expected to lead to an effective raise for over 68,000 of the drivers working for the Largest FHV Companies. The bottom 25% of drivers earned $13.16 or less per hour after expenses in 2017, meaning a quarter of drivers (about 15,000) would receive at least an average $4.00 per hour raise with this new policy. The next quartile would receive at least an additional $3.00 per hour on average. The policy would result in an average 22.5 percent increase in take-home pay or about $6,345 annually per driver, or from $14.06 net per hour to $17.22 net per hour. After an hour of work, typical gross earnings would be about $25.76. Typical earnings after expenses would be $17.22 per hour.

 

Enforcement. To enforce these proposed rules, TLC will investigate and prosecute driver complaints and audit trip records on a regular basis. TLC will require the Largest FHV Companies to submit additional information on driver pay, passenger fares, driver working time, and trip distance to facilitate these audits and inform future policymaking. The Largest FHV Companies will also be required to provide driver receipts that list the applicable per-minute and per mile rates, the number of miles for each trip and the number of minutes for each trip so that drivers can determine whether they were paid at least the minimum amount required by this rule.

 

Expanding Pay and Expense Transparency. TLC rules have long included transparency requirements for financial transactions between drivers and yellow taxi owners. These requirements provide yellow taxi drivers the information to understand all charges a fleet may impose and allow TLC to effectively investigate allegations of fleet overcharges.

 

Specifically, the TLC’s Driver Protection Unit regularly receives transparency and fairness-related complaints from taxi drivers that can be addressed with existing rules. These complaints frequently concern vehicle owners failing to return vehicle security deposits, vehicle owners and fleets charging fees not clearly listed in driver leases or agreements, and vehicle owners and fleets not providing a clear explanation of earnings and fees on written receipts. Relying on the taxi owner rules set forth in Chapter 58, the Driver Protection Unit has successfully enforced taxi driver rights to transparency and fairness with prosecutions resulting in over $2.5 million in restitution for drivers who did not receive money that they were due.

 

These protections do not currently exist in the FHV sector, and TLC’s Driver Protection Unit does not always have the legal tools available to address valid concerns brought to them by FHV drivers.

 

Proposed Rules to Expand Financial Transparency for Drivers.  TLC is proposing rules setting requirements for all FHV bases and all FHV vehicle owners that would ensure transparency for FHV drivers in these financial relationships. The transparency rules will apply to all FHV bases, regardless of size.

 

For vehicle owners who lease their FHV, the proposed rules require:

 

  • Leases be written in plain language
  • Leases specify all costs to drivers
  • Where the owner of the vehicle is a different person than the driver of the vehicle, the rules require that the owners pay drivers’ earnings in a timely manner
  • Owners provide drivers with receipts itemizing all payments, deductions and charges
  • Owners maintain for three years records of their financial relationship with drivers.

 

For FHV base owners, the proposed rules require:

 

  • Agreements with drivers and FHV owners be written in plain language
  • Agreements specify all costs to drivers and vehicle owners
  • Bases provide an itemized breakdown of how much the driver earned and how much the driver’s  passenger fares amounted to, as well as all driver expense information available to the base
  • Bases provide requisite 1099 forms that include the total mileage for trips covered by the Form 1099-K
  • Bases pay driver earnings in a timely manner
  • Bases provide drivers and vehicle owners with receipts itemizing all payments, deductions and charges
  • Bases maintain for three years all records of their financial relationship with drivers and vehicle owners.

 

Taxi Drivers

 

Expanding Taxi Driver Pay Protections. TLC also received feedback from yellow and green taxi drivers about their income and expenses. TLC is proposing several changes to rules related to yellow and green taxi operation to increase existing driver income protections in that sector. For example, the proposed amendments to TLC’s credit card processing rules reduce from $11 to $7, the daily maximum credit card surcharge that fleets could charge, which could save a full-time driver more than $1000 per year. Other proposed changes provide greater financial transparency, opportunities for additional trips and higher incentives, such as an increase of all Accessible Dispatch fee payments, as well as expanded financial restitution.

 

Specifically, the proposed rules:

 

  • Reduce the maximum amount taxi lessors may charge taxi lessees for credit card processing
  • Allow TLC to update the per-trip Accessible Dispatch Fee payable to drivers of accessible vehicles more regularly via TLC’s website, making it easier to increase the fees
  • Require pro-rated leases when taxis are unavailable through no fault of the driver and allow taxi lessors to offer pro-rated leases for shifts under 12 hours
  • Eliminate the prohibition against e-hailing yellow taxis at JFK and LaGuardia airports
  • Protect green taxi vehicle owners from retaliation for making complaints against green taxi license owners
  • Require vehicle owners to compensate drivers for the cost of damage to the taxi that the driver paid to the vehicle owner when the owner was later reimbursed through a separate source
  • Remove any possible discrepancy from the fare total displayed on the taximeter with the fare total displayed on the Passenger Information Monitor display in the back of the vehicle by requiring taximeters to display the total sum of the fare at the end of trip to reduce confusion for drivers and passengers 
  • Afford mandatory restitution to taxi drivers for situations in which the driver has leased a taxi from a lessor and where that lessor failed to meet the terms of the lease and that failure led to additional expenses for the taxi driver. That restitution would be mandated in addition to any fines that were also assessed against the vehicle lessors for the underlying rule violation.

 

To provide additional financial transparency for drivers entering into a conditional purchase agreement for a taxi medallion vehicle pursuant to TLC rule 58-21(c)(4), the proposed rules also:

 

·       Require that such agreements specify the purchase price of the vehicle and the total itemized cost, including interest and fees, payable to the owner or agent, based on the payment terms contained therein;

 

·       Provide restitution as a remedy, in addition to the existing penalty, when drivers are charged a security deposit in excess of the amount permitted by TLC rules; and

 

·       Provide restitution as a remedy, in addition to the existing penalty, when security deposits are not returned to drivers as required by TLC rules.

 

 

Subject: 

Driver Earnings and Vehicle Lease Transparency

Location: 
Hearing 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

New York City is home to more than 200,000 small businesses that collectively employ more than half of the City’s private sector workforce and provide needed jobs, goods and services in neighborhoods across the five boroughs. The vitality, diversity and longevity of small, local businesses are critical to the City’s economy and provide important benefits to residents of the City’s neighborhoods. For example, in 2014, businesses in NYC’s lower income neighborhoods employed 113,420 workers below the age of 30, a 31% increase from 2002.

Over the last fifteen years, the New York City Department of Small Business Services (DSBS) has administered programs to educate and support tens of thousands of local businesses and entrepreneurs seeking to conduct business in New York City. Recently, DSBS has responded to a growing demand to assist commercial tenants in understanding the content of their current or proposed leases, negotiating with landlords and resisting harassment. In addition, DSBS and governmental partners including the Department of City Planning, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the New York City Council, and the City’s Economic Development Corporation have worked to devise programs and policy interventions to support the survival of independent brick and mortar businesses and the vitality and safety of the commercial corridors in neighborhoods across the City. Interventions by these government partners have included restricting street frontage for banks and other less vulnerable business types through zoning amendments, passing legislation extending anti-harassment protections to commercial tenants, incentivizing affordable housing developers to include appropriate spaces for small business tenants on the ground floor of new developments and investing in improvements to commercial corridors.

DSBS establishes the Love Your Local Small Business Grant Program to expand the City’s economic development toolkit. This three-year pilot program will allow the City to develop and test interventions designed to help local, small businesses remain viable and stable participants in the lives of the City’s diverse neighborhoods despite changes in local real estate conditions. Devising these solutions is important, as 2016 data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that job creation attributable to new establishments has been on a decline since the late 1990s and that businesses established prior to 1993 employ nearly 40% of the private sector workforce. Therefore, supporting existing, neighborhood businesses in making changes to allow them to survive and grow is an efficient means of supporting neighborhood economic well-being.

The Love Your Local Small Business Grant Program will incentivize commercial tenant businesses to share detailed information on challenges related to the costs of their leases with DSBS. DSBS will support a carefully selected set of those businesses in addressing those challenges through expert advice and implementation funding. DSBS will collect performance data from the businesses following these interventions, thus increasing the City’s understanding of what strategies are effective in preventing neighborhood businesses from closing due to rising rents and other rising real estate costs. This understanding will increase DSBS’ ability to provide meaningful advice and assistance to other businesses committed to retaining local jobs, helping to ensure the continued availability of locally valued goods and services, and preserving retail diversity. The Love Your Local Small Business Grant Program builds on the work of Small Business First, a DSBS program which invests in initiatives to help existing businesses thrive by connecting them to resources that will save them time and money.

Effective Date: 
Sat, 07/21/2018

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Tuesday, May 29, 2018
Proposed Rules Content: 

Statement of Basis and Purpose

New York City is home to more than 200,000 small businesses that collectively employ more than half of the City’s private sector workforce and provide needed jobs, goods and services in neighborhoods across the five boroughs. The vitality, diversity and longevity of small, local businesses are critical to the City’s economy and provide important benefits to residents of the City’s neighborhoods. For example, in 2014, businesses in NYC’s lower income neighborhoods employed 113,420 workers below the age of 30, a 31% increase from 2002.

Over the last fifteen years, the New York City Department of Small Business Services (DSBS) has administered programs to educate and support tens of thousands of local businesses and entrepreneurs seeking to conduct business in New York City. Recently, DSBS has responded to a growing demand to assist commercial tenants in understanding the content of their current or proposed leases, negotiating with landlords and resisting harassment. In addition, DSBS and governmental partners including the Department of City Planning, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the New York City Council, and the City’s Economic Development Corporation have worked to devise programs and policy interventions to support the survival of independent brick and mortar businesses and the vitality and safety of the commercial corridors in neighborhoods across the City. Interventions by these government partners have included restricting street frontage for banks and other less vulnerable business types through zoning amendments, passing legislation extending anti-harassment protections to commercial tenants, incentivizing affordable housing developers to include appropriate spaces for small business tenants on the ground floor of new developments and investing in improvements to commercial corridors.

DSBS proposes to establish the Love Your Local Small Business Grant Program to expand the City’s economic development toolkit. This three-year pilot program will allow the City to develop and test interventions designed to help local, small businesses remain viable and stable participants in the lives of the City’s diverse neighborhoods despite changes in local real estate conditions. Devising these solutions is important, as 2016 data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that job creation attributable to new establishments has been on a decline since the late 1990s and that businesses established prior to 1993 employ nearly 40% of the private sector workforce. Therefore, supporting existing, neighborhood businesses in making changes to allow them to survive and grow is an efficient means of supporting neighborhood economic well-being.

The Love Your Local Small Business Grant Program will incentivize commercial tenant businesses to share detailed information on challenges related to the costs of their leases with DSBS. DSBS will support a carefully selected set of those businesses in addressing those challenges through expert advice and implementation funding. DSBS will collect performance data from the businesses following these interventions, thus increasing the City’s understanding of what strategies are effective in preventing neighborhood businesses from closing due to rising rents and other rising real estate costs. This understanding will increase DSBS’ ability to provide meaningful advice and assistance to other businesses committed to retaining local jobs, helping to ensure the continued availability of locally valued goods and services, and preserving retail diversity. The Love Your Local Small Business Grant Program builds on the work of Small Business First, a DSBS program which invests in initiatives to help existing businesses thrive by connecting them to resources that will save them time and money.

Subject: 

Rules Governing Love Your Local Grant Program

Location: 
110 William Street 7th Floor
New York, NY
Contact: 

No contact

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Monday, April 21, 2014
Proposed Rules Content: 

 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Rule

 

 In accordance with TLC Rule 58-21(c)(5)(xi)D, the TLC proposes an amended rule to increase the credit card surcharge chargeable to lessors of taxicab medallions by an equivalent of $1 per shift.  This change is being made because credit card usage has continued to increase and the formula for recalculating the surcharge contained in TLC Rule 58-21(c)(5)(xi)D indicates that an increase in the surcharge of $1 per shift is warranted. 

 

 

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

 

Subject: 

Credit Card Processing Surcharge Rule Hearing

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

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 

 

 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Rule

 

 

These rules amend the Taxi and Limousine Commission’s rules governing the leasing of taxicabs and taxicab medallions. The Commission’s authority to adopt these rules is found in section 2303 of the New York City Charter and section 19-503 of the New York City Administrative Code.

 

Following hearings held on May 31 and July 9, 2012, on July 12, 2012, the Commission approved rules changing lease caps and certain other rules pertaining to the leasing of taxicabs and taxicab medallions, as well as rules regarding taxicab rates of fare. The fare rules took effect on September 4, 2012 and the leasing rules took effect on September 30, 2012.

 

Following adoption of these rules, participants from the taxicab industry met with the TLC and identified a number of instances where a technical clarification or qualification to the rules passed on July 12 might be helpful.  In addition, in accordance with the settlement of the lawsuit “Metropolitan Taxicab Board of Trade and JTL Management et. al. v. The New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission et. al” (Index 103849/2012), which resulted in a preliminary injunction against certain of the leasing rules, the TLC agreed to propose certain other changes to the rules. The TLC is promulgating these rules to address some of the comments received after adoption of the first set of changes to the rules.

 

The rules:

 

·       Clarify provisions regarding responsibility for service and maintenance

·       Change how credit card charges are paid and implement a surcharge payable by a driver coupled with a lower lease cap

·       Clarify that an agent cannot charge a surcharge in addition to the surcharge collected under the lease cap rules.

·       Clarify the provisions requiring the pro-rating of lease amounts if the vehicle is unavailable. Allow late charges for late payments in certain instances.

·        Allow owner fines for missed inspections, suspended drivers, dirty vehicles and illegal subleases to be charged to drivers in certain circumstances.

·        Clarify that reasonable cancellation charges can include repossession fees.

·        Modify marking specifications to reflect the recent elimination of exterior fare decals. Modify penalties for retaliation against complaining lessees.

·         Provide a test for determining whether financing of a vehicle by a public corporation is related to a medallion lease when the lessor holds stock in the public  corporation.

·        Allow retention of a deposit to cover the medallion portion of the all-in-one “DOV” lease.

 

 

Effective Date: 
Mon, 07/29/2013

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 

 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Rule

 

These rules amend the Taxi and Limousine Commission’s rules governing the leasing of taxicabs or taxicab medallions. The Commission’s authority to adopt these rules is found in section 2303 of the New York City Charter and section 19-503 of the New York City Administrative Code.

 

These rules reflect evidence and testimony gathered at the hearings held on May 31 and July 9, 2012.

 

The rules:

 

·       Change the mechanism by which medallion owners collect credit card charges from drivers with a lease cap increase.

·       Authorize (but do not require) lessors who lease their medallions and vehicles on a shift basis to charge a lease cap surcharge for gas they provide to drivers who lease from them.

·       Create a new class of lease, the Standard Medallion Lease, which includes long term lease of a vehicle or conditional purchase of a vehicle. The lease cap for the Standard Medallion Lease takes into account the cost of the vehicle.

 

In addition, as required by the Stipulation and Order of Dismissal of MTBOT, et al., v City of New York, No. 08-7837, these rules rescind the rules that, beginning on May 1, 2009, would have reduced the maximum lease rates that an owner of a non-hybrid taxicab could charge a driver. As a result of a preliminary injunction granted by the district court of the Southern District of New York on June 22, 2009, those rules were never enforced.

 

 

Effective Date: 
Sun, 09/30/2012

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Friday, July 27, 2012
Proposed Rules Content: 

 

 

Statement of Basis and Purpose

 

 

On June 21, 2010, the New York State Legislature enacted Section 281(5) of Article 7-C which expanded the criteria for coverage under the Loft Law. Multiple Dwelling Law (MDL) section 286(2)(i) directs the Loft Board to establish rent adjustments prior to Article 7-B compliance, also known as interim rent adjustments for interim multiple dwelling (IMD) units covered under MDL § 281(5).

 

On November 17, 2011, the Loft Board heard testimony from owner and tenant representatives, the Met Council on Housing and the Rent Stabilization Association, among others, about factors the Loft Board should consider in determining the rent adjustments pursuant to MDL section 286(2)(i). In addition, the Loft Board considered over 30 letters received from tenants and advocates for tenants and owners. The information provided was insightful and helpful in understanding the potential impact of these increases on the artist community, current trends in loft housing, and the effect of rent regulation on the housing market.

 

The following list represents a summary of the reoccurring points presented to the Loft Board in the oral and written comments:

 

  • Tenants report that they are already paying market rent;
  • Tenants report that most of them have had a recent increase in rent;
  • A further increase in addition to the legalization milestone increases will result in the unit being over market rent and price-out the artist community;
  • An increase prior to Article 7-B compliance after a lease expires may encourage an owner not to finish the Article 7-B work until after the lease expires to collect the increase;
  • Tenants report that the buildings are in a state of disrepair and the owners fail to do proper maintenance; and
  • Tenants have invested considerable sums of money by making improvements to make the loft spaces livable and owners should not reap the benefits of their financial investment prior to Article 7-B compliance.

 

After consideration of the comments received to date, the Loft Board determines that there should be no rent adjustment prior to Article 7- B compliance pursuant to MDL § 286(2)(i). The proposed rule sets forth this determination in the interim rent adjustments required in MDL § 286(2)(i) for interim multiple dwelling (IMD) units covered under MDL § 281(5).

 

 

Subject: 

Opportunity to comment on proposed rule §2-06.2 which relate to the interim rent guidelines and rent adjustments in MDL § 286(2)(i) for units subject to Article 7-C pursuant to MDL § 281(5).

Location: 
280 Broadway, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10007
Contact: 

New York City Loft Board
280 Broadway
3rd Floor
New York, NY 10007
(212) 566-5663

Download Copy of Proposed Rule (.pdf): 

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Thursday, September 6, 2012
Proposed Rules Content: 

 

 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rule

 

Over 1.2 million people per day ride in vehicles regulated by the Taxi and Limousine Commission. Since the demise of the Checker company in the early 1980’s, none of the vehicles used by the New York City medallion taxicab industry have been designed especially for taxicab service, and they are often repurposed police cruisers, minivans, or passenger sedans. Since these cars have not been designed or engineered specifically for taxi use, they have not included features and amenities that would be beneficial to owners, drivers, and passengers. Nor have they incorporated the latest technologies, accessibility features for people with disabilities, or safety advances.

 

In 2007, the City issued a Request for Information (RFI) and convened a Taxi of Tomorrow Advisory Committee (including taxi drivers, passengers, medallion owners, advocates for people with disabilities, advocates for the environment, various taxi driver and owner organizations, and designers) to help insure that the new taxicab meets the needs of diverse stakeholders.

 

In 2009, the City issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking an exclusive provider of taxicabs to the medallion taxi industry. It sought a vehicle that offered:

 

  • The highest safety standards
  • Superior passenger experience
  • Superior driver comfort and amenities
  • Appropriate purchase price and on-going maintenance and repair costs
  • Minimal environmental impact
  • Minimal physical footprint with more useable interior room
  • Accessibility for all users
  • Iconic design that will identify the taxi with New York City

 

After receipt of 7 proposals from a variety of manufacturers, and a year-long detailed evaluation process, the City selected Nissan North America (Nissan) to be the exclusive taxicab provider for 10 years (with an additional 5-year commitment to provide parts and service). The Taxi of Tomorrow will also be available in a wheelchair accessible version. The Taxi of Tomorrow taxicabs will be known as Official Taxicab Vehicle (OTV) or the Accessible Official Taxicab Vehicle (AOTV).

 

The proposed rule requires that if a medallion owner acquires a new vehicle on or after the activation date for the Taxi of Tomorrow, the owner must hack up the medallion with the Taxi of Tomorrow vehicle, to be known as the Official Taxicab Vehicle or the Accessible Official Taxicab Vehicle . The TLC anticipates the activation date for the Taxi of Tomorrow will be October 31, 2013.

 

Exemptions to this requirement include:

  • Owners of Medallions restricted to use with Alternative Fuel Vehicles may purchase any alternative fuel taxicab which meets the specifications described in TLC Rule 67-05.
  • Owners of the 231 Medallions issued prior to January 1, 2012 that are restricted to use with Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles, may purchase any accessible Taxicab which meets the accessible vehicle specifications set forth in proposed Rule 67-05.2, including the Accessible Official Taxicab Vehicle.
  • Owners of Accessible Medallions issued by TLC on or after January 1, 2012 may purchase any accessible Taxicab which meets the accessible vehicle specifications set forth in Rule 67-05.2, including the Accessible Official Taxicab Vehicle.
  • With TLC’s authorization, owners of up to 496 Unrestricted Medallions issued prior to January 1, 2012 who choose to use an accessible vehicle may purchase any accessible Taxicab which meets the accessible vehicle specifications set forth in proposed Rule 67-05.2, including the Accessible Official Taxicab Vehicle.

 

Vehicle Requirements/Options by Medallion Type

 

 

Nissan

Nissan/Braun

TLC-

TLC-Approved

 

 

NV200

Approved

 

 

NV200

Wheelchair-

 

 

Accessible

Hybrid or

 

 

(OTV)

Accessible

 

 

(AOTV)

CNG

 

 

 

 

 

Unrestricted Medallion

YES

YES

NO

YES, up to 496

 

issued prior to January 1, 2012

medallions

 

 

 

 

 

Restricted Alternate-Fuel Medallion

NO

NO

YES

NO

 

issued prior to January 1, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

Restricted Wheelchair-Accessible

NO

YES

NO

YES

 

Medallion issued prior to January 1,2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

2000 Restricted Medallions authorized

NO

YES

NO

YES

 

by Street Hail Livery Law.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The proposed rule requires the TLC to provide at least 120 days notice to medallion owners prior to the date after which unrestricted medallions must be hacked-up with the Official Taxicab Vehicle. The rule also makes certain, largely technical changes, to current taxicab rules to account for the fact that the Official Taxicab Vehicle will be manufactured and delivered under specifications set by contract with the manufacturer of the vehicle.

 

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

 

In addition, these rules amend TLC rules governing the leasing of taxicabs or taxicab medallions to reflect the implementation of the Taxi of Tomorrow and will take effect once the Taxi of Tomorrow (ToT) is available for hack-up (the OTV Activation Date). The Commission’s authority to adopt these rules is found in section 2303 of the New York City Charter and section 19-503 of the New York City Administrative Code.

 

 

Amendments to Shift Leases

 

Some unrestricted medallion holders have hacked up hybrid vehicles and charged a $3 higher hybrid lease cap to drivers who lease their medallions. When the ToT becomes available these medallion owners will no longer be permitted to hack up with hybrid vehicles. Therefore, to help maintain these medallion owners’ business model and maintain the balance of costs and revenues for both owners and drivers, the TLC will increase by $3 the optional gas surcharge available to unrestricted medallion holders who list on a daily or weekly shift basis .

 

The proposed amendments will:

 

  • On the date when the ToT first becomes available for use as a taxi (OTV Activation Date), increase the optional fuel surcharge by $3 per shift for all vehicles that are not hybrid vehicles.1
  • Permit all medallion owners (except for those already charging the hybrid lease rate)-- including those operating ToT vehicles and those still operating other vehicles--to apply the increased optional fuel surcharge on the OTV Activation Date.

 

 

Amendments to DOV Leases

 

The TLC proposes amending the rules governing leases of medallions to drivers who own or lease their vehicles (DOV leases) to account for the fact that many medallion owners who currently lease their medallions to DOV operators are able to benefit from the driver's operating a hybrid vehicle by charging the driver the hybrid lease cap. The proposed change will enable these medallion owners to earn the same revenues with ToT that they earned without ToT.

 

  • As ToT vehicles are placed into service:

 

o   Owners leasing medallions and medallion and vehicle packages to operators of ToT vehicles will be permitted to charge hybrid lease rates.

o   Medallion owners whose vehicles are required to be hybrids (i.e., restricted alternative fuel medallions) will continue to be able to lease these vehicles at hybrid lease rates.

 

 

1     This $3 per shift fuel surcharge increase will not apply to medallion owners leasing hybrid vehicles; however, these medallion owners will continue to be able to charge the higher hybrid lease rate.

 

 

Subject: 

The Taxi and Limousine Commission is considering changing its rules. The change will require owners of unrestricted taxicab medallions to purchase the Taxi of Tomorrow vehicle selected by the TLC.

This notice replaces and supersedes a previous notice that was published in the City Record on July 5, 2012 providing for a hearing on the rules regarding the Taxi of Tomorrow to be held on August 9, 2012. That hearing has been cancelled.

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

Taxi and Limousine Commission, Office of Legal Affairs,
33 Beaver Street – 22nd Floor,
New York, New York 10014

Download Copy of Proposed Rule (.pdf): 

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Proposed Rules Content: 

 

 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Rule

 

Background

 

Over 600,000 people per day ride in medallion taxicabs regulated by the Taxi and Limousine Commission. Since the end of taxicab manufacture by the Checker Motors Corporation in the early 1980s, none of the vehicles used by the New York City medallion taxicab industry have been designed especially for taxicab service. Since these cars have not been designed or engineered specifically for taxi use, they have not included features and amenities that would be beneficial to taxi owners, drivers, and passengers. Nor have they incorporated the latest technologies, accessibility features for people with disabilities, or safety advances. Most important, none of the vehicles currently in use as taxicabs are designed and manufactured to meet federal safety standards in their taxi configuration. In particular, the presence of a partition installed after the vehicle is manufactured and crash-tested creates an increased risk of head and face injuries.[i]

 

In 2007, the City issued a Request for Information (RFI) and convened a Taxi of Tomorrow Advisory Committee (comprised of taxi drivers, passengers, medallion owners, advocates for people with disabilities, advocates for the environment, various taxi driver and owner organizations, and designers) to help ensure that the new taxicab meets the needs of diverse stakeholders.

 

In 2009, the City issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking an exclusive provider of taxicabs to the medallion taxi industry. It sought a vehicle that offered:

 

·         Compliance with federal safety standards even with a partition installed

·         Superior passenger experience

·         Superior driver comfort and amenities

·         Appropriate purchase price and on-going maintenance and repair costs

·         Minimal environmental impact

·         Minimal physical footprint with more useable interior room

·         Accessibility for all users

·         Iconic design that will identify the taxi with New York City

 

After receipt of 7 proposals from a variety of manufacturers, and a year-long detailed evaluation process, the City selected the Nissan NV200 to be the exclusive taxicab vehicle. The NV200 taxicabs will be known as Official Taxicab Vehicle (OTV) or the Accessible Official Taxicab Vehicle (AOTV).

 

The City subsequently negotiated at length with Nissan North America (Nissan) to secure several important features for taxi owners, passengers and drivers.

 

The OTV will be available in both a standard and a wheelchair accessible version. Additionally, forthcoming models will meet the hybrid requirements set forth in New York City Administrative Code Section 19-533. More importantly, the 19-533 compliant version of the OTV will also be available in a wheelchair accessible version, making it New York City’s first ever hybrid and wheelchair accessible taxicab.

 

Safety: The City negotiated with Nissan to ensure that all versions of the OTV have the following safety features:

 

·         Crash-tested with the partition installed;

·         Equipped with side passenger airbags designed to deploy without interference from the partition;

·         Sliding doors to prevent crashes with cyclists and other vehicles;

·         Illuminated lights on the rear exterior to inform cyclists and other drivers that doors are opening;

·         Front end of the vehicle is designed to reduce severity of injuries to pedestrians in case of an accident;

·         Seatbelts and seatbelt connectors are highlighted with color to encourage seatbelt use; and

·         Backup cameras for drivers

 

Passenger amenities include:

·         Suspension and ride quality engineered for rear passenger comfort

·         More knee room

·         Rear HVAC controls with separate climate control for passenger

·         Entry and exit step with grab handles and completely flat floor

·         Sliding doors that are easier to open than sliding doors in current taxis

·         Transparent skyroof with passenger controlled shade

·         Extra room for luggage

·         Passenger controlled reading lights

·         Floor lighting to assist in locating lost objects

·         USB and 12 volt charging ports

·         Intercom for easy communication with driver

·         Hearing loop to facilitate communication with driver for those with compatible hearing aids

·         Odor-absorbing roof panel and seats with antimicrobial components

·         Low annoyance horn and exterior horn light to identify over-honking

 

Driver amenities include:

·         Driver’s seat that is adjustable even with the partition installed

·         Breathable seat fabric

·         Built-in navigation system

·         Front passenger seat folds to become driver workspace

·         Tray in the partition is ergonomically designed to pass currency and receipts back and forth through the partition so the driver does not have to twist his or her arm around

 

The Rule

 

The proposed rule requires that if a medallion owner acquires a new vehicle on or after the activation date for the Taxi of Tomorrow, the owner must hack up the medallion with the Taxi of Tomorrow vehicle, to be known as the Official Taxicab Vehicle or the Accessible Official Taxicab Vehicle. The rule requires the TLC to provide at least 120 days notice to medallion owners prior to the date after which unrestricted medallions must be hacked-up with the Official Taxicab Vehicle. The rule also makes certain, largely technical changes, to current taxicab rules to account for the fact that the Official Taxicab Vehicle will be manufactured and delivered under specifications set by contract with the manufacturer of the vehicle.

 

Hybrid Specifications

 

To ensure compliance with New York City Administrative Code Section 19-533, which provides that “one or more hybrid electric vehicle models . . . shall be eligible for immediate use by all current and future medallion owners,” the rule also provides that from the activation date until an OTV meets the requirements of section 19-533, a medallion owner may choose to hack up his or her medallion with a vehicle that is a hybrid electric vehicle, provided that the vehicle meets specifications included in this rulemaking (the “Hybrid Specifications”). The Hybrid Specifications do not require that the vehicle be crash-tested with a partition installed, in recognition of the fact that, at present, no commercially available hybrid electric vehicle is crash- tested with a partition installed. The TLC acknowledges that passengers in those vehicles will not have all the safety benefits of the OTV and the AOTV.

 

However, the Hybrid Specifications do include requirements for interior volume and for passenger-operated climate control that are designed to ensure that taxi passengers traveling in hybrid electric taxis other than the OTV receive a passenger experience comparable to that afforded by the OTV and the AOTV.

 

Passenger Survey

 

The TLC prioritized comfort amenities based on customer survey responses, passenger experience, and input received at a City Council hearing. In a passenger survey conducted by the TLC in 2010, over 66 percent of respondents indicated that more storage room or a larger trunk would be an important improvement. Further highlighting the need for luggage space, over 50 percent of respondents answered that they commonly use taxicabs when they travel or when they have luggage. Twenty-nine percent of passengers surveyed responded that the passenger compartment of taxis is too small or uncomfortable.

 

The proposed rule also takes into account the needs of passengers who use taxis to get to airports. With over 50 million people visiting New York City last year, many of them use taxicabs as a reliable means of transportation to and from the airports. In 2012, taxis made over 9.6 million total trips to or from the airports. This averages out to over two airport trips per cab each day, making airport trips an integral part of daily taxi operations. Given this, ensuring that a certain amount of luggage space exists in all taxicabs is an important objective for passengers.

 

Another problem indicated by passengers is interior air quality. In 2012, the TLC received over 100 passenger complaints about air quality, ventilation, odors, or temperature inside the cab. In some cases, the passenger complained that the driver refused to use or adjust the temperature or ventilation. At a City Council hearing on March 5th 2013, Council Member David Greenfield complained about the odor and lack of ventilation in some taxicabs and asked the Commission to address this issue.

 

Exceptions

 

The proposed rule includes certain exceptions to the requirement that medallion owners must hack up their medallions with either the OTV or the AOTV:

 

·         From the activation date until an OTV meets the requirements of section 19-533, owners of medallions restricted to use with alternative fuel vehicles may not hack up their vehicles with an OTV or AOTV, but rather must hack up with vehicles meeting the Hybrid Specifications.

 

·         Owners of medallions that are restricted to use with Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles, including 231 such medallions that have already been issued and any medallions that will be issued in the future, may purchase either an AOTV or any accessible taxicab which meets the accessible vehicle specifications set forth in Rule 67-05.2.

 

·         With TLC’s authorization, owners of up to 496 unrestricted medallions issued prior to January 1, 2012 who choose to use an accessible vehicle may purchase any accessible Taxicab which meets the accessible vehicle specifications set forth in Rule 67-05.2.

 

·         Until the Commissioner certifies that there is a hybrid version of the OTV, owners of unrestricted medallions may purchase any hybrid vehicle meeting the requirements of Rule 67-05.1C

 

Retirement Deadlines and Public Hearing

 

A public hearing on the rules as proposed was held by the TLC on September 6, 2012. Among the public comments received as testimony were several suggestions that the TLC consider granting retirement extensions to owners of vehicles retiring before the OTV activation date to facilitate a smooth roll out of the ToT vehicle and to allow some owners to wait to buy a ToT vehicle rather than being forced to buy a non-ToT vehicle before the OTV activation date. The staff considered this suggestion and agreed, proposing to amend vehicle retirement requirements for certain vehicles as follows:

·         Taxicabs currently scheduled to retire beginning November 1, 2012 through May 31, 2013 will receive an extension through December 1, 2013 or such earlier date on which the owner elects to hack up a TOT vehicle.

 

·         Taxicabs currently scheduled to retire beginning June 1, 2013 through September 30, 2013 will receive an extension of six months, or such earlier date on which the owner elects to hack up a TOT vehicle.

 

·         To obtain an extension, an owner must file an election form with the TLC and specify the date by which they intend to hack up a TOT vehicle. The hack up date becomes the new scheduled retirement date.

 

·         Owners electing to participate and obtain an extension must acquire a TOT vehicle at the retirement of the existing vehicle.

 

·         Owners will obtain the extension will not be permitted to hack up a different vehicle before the newly elected scheduled retirement date unless a TOT vehicle is hacked up.

 

·         Owners will not be permitted to hack up another vehicle before the TOT vehicle becomes available. The TLC can grant exemptions to this requirement for good cause.

 

The Commission’s authority for this rules change is found in section 2303 of the New York City Charter and section 19-503 and 19-533 of the New York City Administrative Code.

 

 

[i] Articles about the danger posed by partitions. 

 

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/riding-new-york-city-taxi-seat-belt-danger-health-article-1.1036853 

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/didn-seat-belt-new-york-city-cab-suffered-serious-injury-crash-face-smashed-partition-article-1.1036865 and http://www.nytimes.com/1996/07/15/nyregion/metro-matters-cab-partitions-helping-driver-but-not-rider.html

 




 

Subject: 

The Taxi and Limousine Commission is considering changing its rules to require owners of unrestricted Taxicabs to purchase the Taxi of Tomorrow vehicle selected by the TLC or to continue to purchase alternative fuel vehicles after the Taxi of Tomorrow comes into use. These proposed rules were not included in the TLC’s regulatory agenda for the current fiscal year because the need for the rule change was not anticipated at the time the agenda was submitted.

Location: 
Taxi and Limousine Commission
33 Beaver Street 19th Floor - Comission Hearing Room
New York, NY 10014
Contact: 

Taxi and Limousine Commission, Office of Legal Affairs
33 Beaver Street – 22nd Floor
New York, New York 10014
Fax: 212-676-1102
tlcrules@tlc.nyc.gov
www.nyc.gov/nycrules

Download Copy of Proposed Rule (.pdf): 

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Monday, April 8, 2013
Proposed Rules Content: 

 

 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rule

 

These rules amend the Taxi and Limousine Commission’s rules governing the leasing of taxicabs and taxicab medallions. The Commission’s authority to adopt these rules is found in section 2303 of the New York City Charter and section 19-503 of the New York City Administrative Code.

 

Following hearings held on May 31 and July 9, 2012, on July 12, 2012, the Commission approved rules changing lease caps and certain other rules pertaining to the leasing of taxicabs and taxicab medallions, as well as rules regarding taxicab rates of fare. The fare rules took effect on September 4, 2012 and the leasing rules took effect on September 30, 2012.

 

Following adoption of these rules, participants from the taxicab industry met with the TLC and identified a number of instances where a technical clarification or qualification to the rules passed on July 12 might be helpful. In addition, in accordance with the settlement of the lawsuit “Metropolitan Taxicab Board of Trade and JTL Management et. al. v. The New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission et. al” (Index 103849/2012), which resulted in a preliminary injunction against certain of the leasing rules, the TLC agreed to propose certain other changes to the rules. The TLC proposes these rules to address some of the comments received after adoption of the first set of changes to the rules.

 

The proposed rules:

 

  • Clarify provisions regarding responsibility for service and maintenance

 

  • Change how credit card charges are paid and implement a surcharge payable by a driver coupled with a lower lease cap

 

  • Clarify that an agent cannot charge a surcharge in addition to the surcharge collected under the lease cap rules.

 

  • Clarify the provisions requiring the pro-rating of lease amounts if the vehicle is unavailable. Allow late charges for late payments in certain instances.

 

  • Allow owner fines for missed inspections, suspended drivers and illegal subleases to be charged to drivers in certain circumstances.

 

  • Clarify that reasonable cancellation charges can include repossession fees.

 

  • Modify marking specifications to reflect the recent elimination of exterior fare decals. Modify penalties for retaliation against complaining lessees.

 

  • Provide a test for determining whether financing of a vehicle by a public corporation is related to a medallion lease when the lessor holds stock in the public corporation.

 

 

Subject: 

The Taxi and Limousine Commission is considering changing its rules. The change would amend rules regulating taxicab lease caps- and the maximum dollar amount per shift for which taxis can be leased and changing some of the ways in which fares are calculated.

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

Taxi and Limousine Commission, Office of Legal Affairs, 33 Beaver Street – 22nd Floor, New York, New York 10014

Download Copy of Proposed Rule (.pdf):