NEW YORK — The NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission's (TLC) has created the Livery Passenger's Bill of Rights.
To view the new placard, CLICK HERE.
The rules are modeled after the Taxicab Rider Bill of Rights that is required to be displayed in yellow cabs in Manhattan. The new Bill of Rights placards must be displayed in plastic frames on the back of all livery driver seats by July 2, 2009.
Livery cars are a mainstay of life on the outer-boroughs, but have been criticized for not following the TLC's guidelines. The TLC has tried to regulate them in efforts both to improve their safety and their quality of service.
Livery cars have been trying to poach street hails meant for yellow cabs more vigorously than usual, sometimes waiting outside popular shopping destinations that are not monitored by doormen or taxi dispatchers.
The main problem for passengers who take hailed livery cabs is that the responsibility for the trip no longer falls on the livery service. If there is an accident and a passenger is injured, the car service is not obligated to offer insurance. Additionally, passengers are at a greater risk of being cheated into paying a higher fare.
To prevent street hailers from taking livery and car service cars, the placard states, "You must call a car service to take this cab. Street hails are not allowed."
Whether or not the placards will dissuade street hailers from taking livery service cars, or drivers from breaking the listed rules, remains to be seen.
The Livery Passenger's Bill of Rights gives passengers the rights to:
1) Ride in a car that is clean, in good condition, and has passed all required inspections
2) Be driven by a TLC-licensed driver in good standing whose license is clearly displayed
3) A safe and courteous driver who obeys all traffic laws
4) A quiet trip, free of horn-honking and audio/radio noise
5) Receive a fare quote from the dispatcher and pay that amount for your ride (unless the trip changes)
6) A driver who does not use a cell phone while driving (hands-free phones are not permitted)
7) A smoke and scent free ride
8) Air-conditioning or heat on request
9) Working seatbelts for all passengers — please use them!
10) Not share a ride, unless you want to
11) Be accompanied by a service animal
12) Decline to tip for poor service.