NY Temporarily Ceases Vehicle Licensing, Enforces TNC Minimum Wage

Lexi Tucker
Posted on August 9, 2018
A package of bills passed Aug. 8 will shake up for-hire transportation in New York City.
A package of bills passed Aug. 8 will shake up for-hire transportation in New York City.

NEW YORK, N.Y. —The City Council of New York passed a package of four bills on Aug. 8 pertaining to for-hire transportation carriers, the most devastating of which will prohibit the TLC from issuing any more vehicle licenses for a period of a year, with an exception for wheelchair accessible vehicles.

In the same package, the TLC was also required to set minimum payments for for-hire vehicle drivers for trips dispatched by high volume for-hire services (defined as services that dispatch 10,000 or more trips per day). For both bills, the TLC will be required to conduct studies: The first to decide whether to adopt vehicle utilization standards or regulations on the number of for-hire vehicle licenses, and the second to study payments for other for-hire vehicle trips and authorize the TLC to set payments for those trips, as well as set minimum rates of fare.

“There’s the saying ‘too little, too late’—this moratorium seems like too much, too late,” said Jeff Rose, president of Attitude New York. “They could have previously addressed the issue of the way in which these TNCs are disruptive. For a long time, the industry has been telling the TLC to treat us all equally. To now come out with this ban on any new cars…it’ll hurt our segment of the industry where the real jobs are.”

“It weighs more heavily on new startups than it does on established companies. If you have a growing company, it makes it very difficult for you to land a contract for new business. Essentially what they are saying is ‘we need to stop the clock while we take some time to study this’ – if they would have done that a long time ago, that would have resolved the issue. I think the cap is going to bring about a lot of collateral damage and be disruptive in itself.”

The other two bills in the package include one that waives the license fee for wheelchair accessible taxis and for-hire vehicles, and one that will create a new license for providing high-volume for-hire service in the city, which would only impact for-hire services that dispatch 10,000 or more trips per day.

This new license would require applicants to: Submit a business plan, comply with any requirement of the TLC to assess the impact of the service on the environment, provide a description of all deductions (such as commissions and lease fees) 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. This legislation would also set a $10,000 per day penalty for operating a high-volume for-hire service without a valid TLC license to do so.

“Limousine operations like ours are already subject to minimum wage rules. If the Department of Labor would simply look at the conditions that independent operators work under, they would classify them as employees and that would end the issue. Instead of creating a new law that’s going to be difficult to enforce, they need to see the situation for what it truly is,” said Rose.

Click here to read the full list of decisions

Related Topics: Lyft, New York, New York City, New York operators, New York Taxi & Limousine Commission, regulations, regulatory enforcement, state regulations, TNCs, Uber

Lexi Tucker Associate Editor
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