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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.

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 

On January 20, 1994, the Taxi and Limousine Commission (“TLC”) adopted rules requiring the installation of driver safety partitions in Medallion Taxicabs.[1]  Since then, the rules have been revised a number of times.  Today Medallion Taxicabs are the only class of TLC-licensed vehicles subject to a partition requirement.  In contrast, owners of both Street Hail Liveries (“SHLs”) and Liveries, may install either a partition or an In Vehicle Camera Systems (IVCS).[2]  The remaining classes of vehicles, including the Black Car sector, have no requirement to install either a partition or IVCS.  

 

TLC staff have reviewed recent studies which examined the use of partitions and IVCS in taxis.  The studies show that IVCS effectively deter would-be criminals and significantly improve the likelihood that criminals are apprehended and successfully prosecuted.  Other studies have also shown that IVCS may decrease incidents of verbal abuse and fare jumping.  For these reasons, these rules allow Owners of Medallion Taxicabs to have the same option as the SHL and Livery sectors of installing either a partition or an IVCS.  The TLC will monitor the impact of this rule change to ensure that driver and passenger safety is not affected negatively.

 

The rules also require that Medallion Owners file with TLC a working email address to improve communications between the agency and its licensees. 

 

Finally, the rules allow Medallion Owners to request at any time one of the 496 waivers to hack-up an approved accessible Taxicab vehicle other than the Accessible Official Taxicab Vehicle (“AOTV”).  TLC rules previously required that these requests be made at least 120 but no more than 150 days prior to the current vehicle retirement date.  Industry stakeholders have requested eliminating this requirement to accommodate those circumstances when a vehicle must be removed from service well in advance of the scheduled retirement date.  Medallion Owners receiving these waivers must hack-up their vehicle within 120 days after approval.  Waivers not used within the required timeframe will then be returned to the pool of available waivers. 

 

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]

§1-17 of the TLC rules, presently codified as §58-35.

[2]

Unlike Taxicabs Owners, TLC rules permit all Owners of SHLs and Liveries, including those leasing their vehicles, to opt for an IVCS in lieu of a partition.

Effective Date: 
Sat, 05/28/2016

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Proposed Rules Content: 

On January 20, 1994, the Taxi and Limousine Commission (“TLC”) adopted rules requiring the installation of driver safety partitions in Medallion Taxicabs.(1)  Since then, the rules have been revised a number of times.  Today Medallion Taxicabs are the only class of TLC-licensed vehicles subject to a partition requirement.  In contrast, owners of both Street Hail Liveries (“SHLs”) and Liveries, may install either a partition or an In Vehicle Camera Systems (IVCS).(2) The remaining classes of vehicles, including the Black Car sector  have no requirement to install either a partition or IVCS.  

 

TLC staff have reviewed recent studies which examined the use of partitions and IVCS in taxis.  The studies show that IVCS effectively deter would-be criminals and significantly improve the likelihood that criminals are apprehended and successfully prosecuted.  Other studies have also shown that IVCS may decrease incidents of verbal abuse and fare jumping.  For these reasons, the proposed rules would allow Owners of Medallion Taxicabs to have the same option as the SHL and Livery sectors of installing either a partition or an IVCS.  The TLC will monitor the impact of this rule change to ensure that driver and passenger safety is not affected negatively.

 

The proposed rules would also require that Medallion Owners file with TLC a working email address  to improve communications between the agency and its licensees. 

 

Finally, the proposed rules would allow Medallion Owners to request at any time one of the 496 waivers to hack-up an approved accessible Taxicab vehicle other than the Accessible Official Taxicab Vehicle (“AOTV”).  TLC rules currently require that these requests be made at least 120 but no more than 150 days prior to the current vehicle retirement date.  Industry stakeholders have requested eliminating this requirement to accommodate those circumstances when a vehicle must be removed from service well in advance of the scheduled retirement date.  Medallion Owners receiving these waivers must hack-up their vehicle within 120 days after approval.  Waiver not used within the required timeframe will then be returned to the pool of available waivers. 

 

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]

§1-17 of the TLC rules, presently codified as §58-35.

[2]

Unlike Taxicabs Owners, TLC rules permit all Owners of SHLs and Liveries, including those leasing their vehicles, to opt for an IVCS in lieu of a partition.

Subject: 

The Taxi and Limousine Commission is considering changing its rules to allow all Medallion Taxicab Owners to install a TLC-approved In-Vehicle Camera System in lieu of a partition and to require that all Medallion Taxicab Owners file an Email address with the Commission. The Commission is also considering amending its rules regarding when the 496 Accessible Official Taxicab Vehicle waivers may be requested.

Location: 
NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission
33 Beaver St, 19th Floor
New York, NY 10004
Contact: 

212-676-1102 or tlcrules@tlc.nyc.gov

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

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): 

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 

Statement of Basis and Purpose

 

On February 18, 2014, Mayor de Blasio launched the Vision Zero action plan – an ambitious plan to reduce traffic fatalities in New York City.Vision Zero accepts no traffic fatality as inevitable. Vision Zero allows government agencies, industry groups, key transportation stakeholders and the public to understand traffic crashes as the result of a series of actions that can be changed or prevented through enforcement, education and design.  In June of 2014, the Mayor signed Local Laws 27, 28 and 30 of 2014 to implement Vision Zero.  Each Law mandates specific requirements for one or more of the agencies involved in directly implementing Vision Zero.

 

These rules implement the three recently-enacted local laws that provide the TLC with enforcement tools necessary to support Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero goals.  The rules increase the TLC’s ability to remove unsafe TLC-licensed drivers from the street quickly, promoting the safety of passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and other motorists. 

 

Each new local law supports the Vision Zero goals specifically as follows:

  • Local Law 27 of 2014, known as “Cooper’s Law,” allows the TLC to summarily suspend the license of any driver summonsed or charged with a traffic violation or crime following a crash in which a person has suffered a critical injury or death.  If the driver is convicted of the traffic violation or crime, the TLC driver’s license must be revoked.
  • Local Law 28 of 2014 requires the TLC to review the results of the NYPD’s investigation of any crash involving a TLC licensed driver operating a TLC licensed vehicle that results in death or critical injury.  Additionally, this new law requires the TLC to review the fitness of any driver involved in a crash resulting in death or critical injury and allows the TLC to summarily suspend the driver while the fitness review is pending.
  •  Local Law 30 of 2014 allows the TLC to combine DMV license points assessed against a license under the critical driver program for traffic violations with TLC license points assigned under the persistent violator program for safety violations in determining when a TLC-issued driver’s license must be suspended or revoked.  The law also increases the number of points deducted from a TLC license after a driver completes a point reduction class.

 In addition to implementing the requirements of these newly adopted local laws, the proposed rules will also:

  • count traffic violations that result in critical driver points as of the date of conviction, rather than the date the violation occurred;
  • reduce the number of TLC rules not related to driver or vehicle safety  whose violation results in persistent violator points;
  • increase the fine amounts for violation of certain non-safety related TLC rules;
  • clarify that the category of “named drivers” in the medallion owner and driver rules has been eliminated, and
  • correct the rate of fare for a trip to Newark in the Driver’s rules, to mirror the Owner’s rules.

 These rules are authorized by Section 2303 of the Charter, Section 19-503 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York, and Local Laws 27, 28 and 30 of 2014.

 

“Shall” and “must” denote mandatory requirements and may be used interchangeably in the rules of this department, unless otherwise specified or unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

 

New material is underlined. 

 

[Deleted material is in brackets.]

Effective Date: 
Wed, 11/26/2014

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 

The proposed rule amends and clarifies the Taxi and Limousine Commission’s (TLC) rules regarding how the Taxicab Improvement Surcharge and the Street Hail Livery Improvement Surcharge will be collected and paid to the TLC.  The proposed rule includes notification and reporting requirements for Taxicab Passenger Enhancement Program (TPEP) and Livery Passenger Enhancement Program (LPEP) vendors.

The proposed rule:

·         Establishes requirements for Medallion Owners or Agents for payment of the Taxicab Improvement Surcharge and for Street Hail Livery Licensees for the payment of the Street Hail Livery Improvement Surcharge.

·         Modifies the meter equipment restriction for For-Hire vehicles to allow all Street Hail Livery vehicles to be equipped with a taximeter. 

·         Establishes how funds contributed are allocated between the Driver and Owner portions of the Street Hail Livery Improvement Fund.

·         Provides collection and notification requirements for the TPEP and LPEP vendors regarding the Taxicab Improvement Surcharge and the Street Hail Livery Improvement Surcharge respectively.

·         Requires the TPEP and LPEP systems to perform driver verification against TLC-provided licensee lists, and meet other technical requirements.

·         Changes the recipient of Street Hail Livery Improvement Surcharge proceeds from fares and the obligation to pay those proceeds to the Street Hail Livery Improvement Fund from Street Hail Livery Bases to Street Hail Livery Licensees. This change is made because as the TLC began to move to implement collection of the Surcharge, administrative concerns indicated that Street Hail Livery Licensees should be the collectors and payors.

Effective Date: 
Sun, 11/23/2014

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