NYC TLC Approves For-Hire Vehicle Accountability Rules

Posted on April 22, 2009 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

NEW YORK — The Taxi and Limousine Commission’s Board of Commissioners this week approved a package of “For-Hire Vehicle Accountability Rules” that will enhance passenger safety and customer service while further professionalizing the for-hire vehicle industry.

One of the many important goals of these rules is to attempt to eradicate unlicensed activity once and for all. These reforms include:

Enhanced markings for community car service and other for-hire vehicles (FHVs) to help passengers in identifying properly-licensed vehicles;

Periodic inspection of FHVs at the TLC’s own state-of-the-art safety and emissions inspection facility;

A point-based system that will hold FHV bases accountable for their affiliated vehicles and the actions of their drivers;

The clear display of TLC driver licenses in all FHVs;

The requirement that FHV bases to quote passengers a firm price for a ride that will not change after it is quoted;

The posting of a Livery Passenger Bill of Rights.

Taxi and Limousine Commissioner Matt Daus said, “I must say quite frankly that the process leading up to the formulation of the final version of this package has constituted the longest and most inclusive rulemaking process the agency has ever undertaken. There are many passionate stakeholders in the FHV industry, including leaders who are fiercely protective of their many thousands of constituents. It has been a personally gratifying experience to sit at the table with many of these leaders to work together to find the ways that this package of rules could work best to accomplish their mission of enhanced professional, customer service and safety, but to also be fair and reasonable to our regulated businesses and licensees.”

Daus thanked all the participants who contributed to the rules-making process, including the Luxury Base Operators’ Association, the Black Car and Limousine Assistance Group, the New York Limousine Association, Limousine Associations of New Jersey, Limousine Association of New York, United as One Base Owners’ Association, the NYC Fleet Livery Owners Association, Inc., and the NYC For-Hire Base Group.

Daus explained that this process started with some of the reforms being heard at a public hearing held about two years ago and culminating with extensive outreach over the last year, including consultation with all industry groups, leaders, and anyone who wished to voice an opinion.

Before the rules are finalized and published, the Board of Commissioners voted on April 16 to allow for an additional two weeks to receive any final feedback from anyone who wishes to contact them. The rules are posted, with summary handbooks and materials on the TLC website

Anyone can call the Constituent Affairs Office at 212-676-1055 or e-mail Assistant Commissioner Samara Epstein at [email protected] to schedule an appointment, obtain materials, express opinions (verbally and/or in writing), or to simply ask questions.

Source: Linda Moore, LCT Magazine; NYC TLC Commissioner’s Corner

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