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Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 

Statement of Basis and Purpose

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

The amendments to the Medallion Taxicab Service rules:

·        

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

·        

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

·        

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

·        

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

·        

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

·        

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

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

Lease Caps for All-In Leases

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

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

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

·        

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

·        

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

·        

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

·        

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

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

Non-Cash Payment Methods for Owner and Agent Lessors

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

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

Effective Date: 
Sun, 10/25/2015

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

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

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

The proposed amendments to the Medallion Taxicab Service rules:

·        

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

·        

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

·        

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

·        

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

·        

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

·        

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

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

Lease Caps for All-In Leases

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

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

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

·        

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

·        

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

·        

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

·        

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

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

Gas Surcharge

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

Non-Cash Payment Methods for Owner and Agent Lessors

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

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

Subject: 

.Taxicab Fare and Lease Cap Rule Updates

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

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

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Monday, April 28, 2014
Proposed Rules Content: 

 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Rule

The Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) is proposing a rule that will create two funds to finance improvements in the taxicab and street hail livery industries.  The initial goal of the fund that will be created for the taxicab industry is to make it easier for mobility-impaired customers who use wheelchairs or scooters to get a taxi when and where they need it, by increasing the number of wheelchair accessible taxis on the road in New York City from the current 231 to over 7,500. The other fund, to be financed by the surcharge on street hail livery trips, will serve a similar purpose for passengers, owners and drivers of street hail livery vehicles.

The proposed rule imposes a $0.30 per ride surcharge on taxicab and street hail livery trips that will finance these funds. One of these funds, to be financed by the surcharge on taxicab rides, will help medallion owners and drivers to make certain improvements to better serve their passengers, including conversion to accessible vehicles. The proposed rule also amends vehicle requirements to substantially increase the accessibility of the existing taxicab fleet to passengers with mobility impairments. As a result of these provisions, half of the vehicles in New York City’s taxi fleet  will be accessible by 2020 (see table below).  The proposed rule supplements the TLC’s ongoing initiatives to increase accessibility through the sale of additional accessible medallions and implementation of an accessible taxicab dispatch program. 

The proposed rule also imposes penalties for violation of the new requirements.

Specifically, the proposed rules require the following:

Amended Vehicle Requirements

Medallion owners must meet the requirements listed below beginning on the “Accessible Conversion Start Date,” which will be the date when a vehicle is available that meets TLC’s standards for accessible taxicabs and the Administrative Code’s requirements regarding alternative fuel taxicabs.  If no such vehicle is available by January 1, 2016, then that date will be the “Accessible Conversion Start Date.”

Unrestricted minifleet medallion owners:

  • Where a minifleet consists of two medallions, the medallion  assigned to the first vehicle that is scheduled to retire after the effective date of these rules must be hacked-up with an accessible vehicle. Thereafter, at least one medallion (though not necessarily the same medallion) must be assigned to an accessible vehicle.
  • Where a minifleet consists of more than two medallions, every medallion scheduled to retire after the effective date of these rules must be hacked up with an accessible vehicle until one-half (or the nearest fraction exceeding one-half) of the minifleet’s vehicles are accessible. Thereafter, at least one half of the minfleet’s medallions (though not necessarily the same medallions) must be assigned to accessible vehicles.

Unrestricted independent medallion owners:

  • Unrestricted medallions assigned to vehicles that are scheduled to  retire during the second six-month period following the Accessible Conversion Start Date will be placed into a lottery, in which one-half will be selected to be placed into service with an accessible vehicle . As the successive vehicles to which those medallions are assigned reach their retirement dates, the medallions will be assigned on an alternating basis, first to non-accessible vehicles, then to accessible vehicles. The medallions that are not selected in this lottery may be placed into service with a non-accessible vehicle. As the successive vehicles to which those medallions are assigned reach their retirement dates, the medallions will be assigned on an alternating basis, first to accessible vehicles, then to non-accessible vehicles. In this way, a schedule of alternating assignments to accessible and non-accessible vehicles will be established for all medallions placed in this lottery.
  • Unrestricted medallions assigned to vehicles that are scheduled to be retired during the third six-month period following the Accessible Conversion Start Date will be placed into another lottery, to be held six months after the first lottery, in which one-half will be selected to be placed into service with an accessible vehicle. The medallions not selected in this lottery may be placed into service with a non-accessible vehicle. As the successive vehicles to which medallions in this group are assigned reach their retirement dates, the same schedule of alternating assignments to accessible and non-accessible vehicles will apply for all medallions placed in this lottery.
    • Lotteries for unrestricted independent medallions will continue to be held twice a year until a schedule of alternating assignments to accessible and non-accessible vehicles is established for all unrestricted independent medallions.

Alternative Fuel medallion owners:

  • When an accessible alternative fuel vehicle is available, these medallions will be placed on a schedule of alternating assignments to accessible and non-accessible vehicles, in the same manner as unrestricted independent medallions.

Accessible medallion owners:

  • Must continue to use their medallions with accessible vehicles.

Owners required to convert under these rules can trade the requirement with any owner who is not required to convert, provided that the vehicles of both owners are scheduled to be retired during the same calendar year. 

The proposed rules also contain provisions to prevent owners from transferring medallions without providing a plan to the TLC for continued compliance with accessibility conversion requirements.

New Funds to Finance Accessible Conversions

The proposed rules provide for the creation of the new Taxicab Improvement and Street Hail Livery Improvement Funds, which will be funded by surcharges on both taxi and Street Hail Livery trips.  These Improvement Funds will fund grants made to Street Hail Livery licensees and medallion owners who are required to purchase an accessible vehicle, and to drivers who operate accessible taxicabs and Street Hail Liveries. 

New Taxicab Improvement Surcharge

The rules provide for a surcharge of $0.30 per taxicab ride, to be divided between medallion taxicab drivers and owners to pay for accessibility costs.  A portion of the surcharge, $0.05 per ride, will be reserved for drivers to help compensate for costs associated with accessibility, including the costs associated with additional training related to driving accessible vehicles .  Of the remaining $0.25 of the surcharge:

  • Owners of  all Medallions will pay this amount into the new Taxicab Improvement Fund (TIF). It is anticipated that monies in the TIF will be sufficient to provide, for each accessible vehicle in use with a Minifleet Medallion or Independent Medallion, approximately:
  • $14,000 for vehicle purchase, and
  • $16,000 to cover additional operational costs associated with accessible taxis, which is comprised of,
    • $1,500 per year over four years for estimated additional maintenance costs, and,
    • $2,500 per year over four years to cover estimated lost revenue associated with additional days off of the road
  • In addition, monies from the TIF will be used to help finance the accessible dispatch program established in chapter 53 of TLC’s rules.

For purposes of calculating the cost to owners of the accessible vehicle conversion requirement, the vehicle conversion cost will be the maximum difference between the cost of accessible and non-accessible versions of the Nissan NV200 Taxi. TLC estimated operational costs by surveying accessible owner-drivers on maintenance needs for accessible vehicles and by comparing 2013 taxi trip data on the number of annual revenue shifts performed between accessible and non-accessible taxi vehicles. 

New Street Hail Livery Improvement Surcharge

The rules  create the Street Hail Livery Improvement Fund, to be financed by a surcharge of $0.30 per street hail livery ride.  The TLC anticipates that the Street Hail Livery Improvement Fund will be used for purposes similar to those of the Taxicab Improvement Fund, that is, assisting owners and drivers to maintain accessibility in the markets served by Street Hail Liveries, and providing grants to facilitate continued accessibility when the TLC’s current grant program for accessible Street Hail Liveries ends.  

Driver Training Requirements

All new drivers must receive wheelchair passenger assistance training beginning on June 1, 2014; all current drivers must receive such training within one year of the effective date of their taxi driver’s license renewals.

Penalties for Violation of New Rules

The proposed rule imposes penalties for failure to remit the surcharge as required for both drivers and medallion owners.

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

 

 

Subject: 

Accessibility Rules Hearing

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