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Proposed Rules: Open to Comments

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Agency:
Comment By: 
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Proposed Rules Content: 

 

STATEMENT OF BASIS AND PURPOSE OF RULES

 

On August 14, 2018 Mayor de Blasio signed Local Law 149 of 2018, which creates a separate licensing category for for-hire transportation services that dispatch more than 10,000 trips per day, referred to in the legislation as High-Volume For-Hire Services (HVFHS). This new licensing class would be in addition to existing Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) license classes. These proposed rules establish the criteria for obtaining a HVFHS License, which any High-Volume For-Hire Service must obtain in order to dispatch trips in New York City.

 

Specifically, to obtain and HVFHS license, applicants must:

 

  •   submit a list of bases through which the HVFHS will dispatch trips
  •   pay a biennial licensing fee
  •   submit a business plan, addressing the HVFHS’s past and anticipated vehicle count, trip volume, service areas, and compliance with the TLC’s accessibility requirements
  •   assess the impact of the HVFHS on traffic congestion, local transportation, and noise
  •   provide a description of all deductions it proposes to charge for-hire vehicle owners or drivers as well as estimates of gross hourly earnings of drivers, and
  •   provide detailed trip and revenue data on an ongoing basis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

TLC’s authority for these rules is found in section 2303 of the New York City Charter and sections 19-503 and 19-548 of the New York City Administrative Code.

 

 

Subject: 

Rules Governing High-Volume For-Hire Service Providers

Location: 
TLC hearing room
33 Beaver St 19th floor
New York, NY 10004
Contact: 

No contact

Proposed Rules: Open to Comments

Log in or register to post comments
Agency:
Comment By: 
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Proposed Rules Content: 

 

Statement of Basis and Purpose

 

In April 2018 the New York State Tax Law was amended to impose a Congestion Surcharge on taxi and for-hire vehicle trips that begin, end or pass through Manhattan, south of 96th street. Beginning January 1, 2019, the State will assess a Congestion Surcharge of $2.50 per trip in yellow taxis, or $2.75 per trip in For-Hire Vehicles. For Shared Rides the surcharge is reduced to $0.75 per passenger. If the passenger requests a Shared Ride, the trip is entitled to the Shared Ride surcharge even if no other passenger joins. The surcharge does not apply if the trip does not start and end in New York State, or if the trip is provided by or on behalf of the MTA. Proceeds from the Congestion Surcharge will be used to fund the City’s subway system, MTA facilities, equipment and services located in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island, and the general operating and capital costs of the MTA.

 State Law requires that that the Congestion Surcharge must be passed on to the passenger and may not be deducted from the driver’s pay. Additionally, State Law further requires that Medallion Owners and FHV Bases remit the surcharge to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance.

 TLC is proposing these rules to reflect this new State Law obligation on Medallion Owners and FHV Bases to collect the Congestion Surcharge.

 

Subject: 

Congestion Surcharge for Taxicab and For-Hire Vehicle Trips

Location: 
TLC hearing room
33 Beaver St 19th floor
New York, NY 10004
Contact: 

No contact

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

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

 

STATEMENT OF BASIS AND PURPOSE OF RULES

 

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

 

 FHV Drivers

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

           
     

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

For FHV base owners, the proposed rules require:

 

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

 

Taxi Drivers

 

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

 

Specifically, the proposed rules:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

Subject: 

Driver Earnings and Vehicle Lease Transparency

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

No contact

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

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

Statement of Basis and Purpose

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

Specifically the TLC is proposing:

·        

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

·        

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

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

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

 

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

Subject: 

.FHV Wheelchair Accessibility

Location: 
Marriott Downtown
85 West Street
New York, NY 10006

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

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

Statement of Basis and Purpose

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Subject: 

FHV Tipping Rules

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

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 

Licensing Rules Review

 

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

 

Renewing Expired Driver and Vehicle Licenses

 

TLC rules currently prohibit licensees from renewing expired licenses.

[1]

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

 

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

 

The rule amendments:

·        

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

·        

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

[2]

and

·        

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

 

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

[3]

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

 

Experienced Driver Education Exemption

 

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

 

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

 

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

·        

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

·        

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

 

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

[4]

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

 

Taxi Vehicle Hardship Extension Requests

 

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

[5]

 

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

[6]

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

[7]

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

 

Seizure and Forfeiture of Commuter Vans

 

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

 

Other Commuter Van Amendments

 

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

 

Additional Clarifications

 

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

 

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

 




[1]

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

[2]

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

[3]

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

[4]

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

[5]

New York City Record, Jan. 29, 2002.

[6]

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

[7]

2017 N.Y.C. Local Law No. 59 

Effective Date: 
Sat, 07/15/2017

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

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

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rules

 

Licensing Rules Review

 

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

 

Renewing Expired Driver and Vehicle Licenses

 

TLC rules currently prohibit licensees from renewing expired licenses.

[1]

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

 

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

 

The proposed rules would:

·        

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

·        

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

[2]

and

·        

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

 

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

[3]

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

 

Experienced Driver Education Exemption

 

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

 

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

 

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

·        

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

·        

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

 

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

[4]

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

 

Taxi Vehicle Hardship Extension Requests

 

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

[5]

 

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

[6]

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

[7]

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

 

Seizure and Forfeiture of Commuter Vans

 

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

 

Other Commuter Van Amendments

 

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

 

Additional Clarifications

 

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

 

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

 




[1]

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

[2]

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

[3]

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

[4]

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

[5]

New York City Record, Jan. 29, 2002.

[6]

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

[7]

2017 N.Y.C. Local Law No. 59 

Subject: 

.TLC Licensing Rules Updates

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

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