NYC TLC Chair Comments on Reciprocity Issues

Posted on June 7, 2006 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

NEW YORK CITY — There are a number of important issues that we have been addressing regarding our neighbors in Nassau and Westchester Counties. A trend appears to be emerging towards additional for-hire vehicle regulation in New York State, including the recent formation of a TLC in Nassau County, and serious consideration of the formation of similar regulatory bodies in Suffolk and Rockland Counties.

Westchester formed a TLC several years ago, modeling its structure and regulations after our TLC. A so-called “border war” had developed between Westchester authorities and New York City licensees several years ago - where vehicles were being stopped and seized by Westchester police at border checkpoints for not bearing Westchester permits. We were able to resolve this conflict by intervening and reaching a reciprocity agreement, which has successfully ensured peaceful inter-county transportation through the mutual recognition of our licenses. This accord serves as a model for setting and enforcing uniform minimum safety and service standards for vehicles transporting passengers from their neighboring county to destinations in their own licensed county.

Over the last year, the creation of a TLC in Nassau County has caused tension between the black car, limousine and livery industries in New York City and government officials in Nassau County. In order to respond to concerns and to live-up to my promise to do everything within our power to prevent “border conflicts,” we intervened by pledging our assistance to mediate and attempt to resolve any issues – as we did with Westchester.

After several meetings and discussions with the Nassau County TLC, it seems clear that the best solution would be legislative in nature. We are discussing the possibility of introducing legislation to formalize the intra-State recognition of for-hire licenses by local governments in accordance with criteria similar to the terms of the reciprocity agreement between Westchester and New York City. This would ensure that the issue is resolved definitively and state-wide for years to come. So far, we have had several positive and productive meetings with both Nassau and Westchester Counties about the possibility of enacting such legislation. Government should do everything it can to encourage intra-state and inter-state for-hire vehicle commerce, higher uniform minimum safety standards and less bureaucracy and paperwork for all. We must remember that we are regulating businesses that serve people who wish to exercise their freedom to travel wherever they want to go – and as long as the service is good, and the vehicles and drivers are safe, everyone benefits from a free and safe flow of for-hire transportation.

Source: New York City TLC Commissioner Matthew Daus

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