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Taxi Industry Skittish About Proposed Rule Changes

Thursday, March 22, 2012

New York City yellow taxi, cab, SUV taxi (Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

The Taxi and Limousine Commission held its first public hearing on Thursday about proposed rule changes in the taxi industry as the city’s five borough taxi legislation comes to fruition and street hail permits begin to be sold in June.

A cross section of industry stakeholders packed into the Taxi and Limousine Commission ‘s hearing room in Lower Manhattan for their chance to weigh in as commissioner David Yassky attempted to assuage concerns by saying all testimony would be considered when making tweaks to the new system.

The commission is expected to vote on the package next month.

Several livery base owner groups and individual bases said they were concerned that the rules as written would penalize livery bases with fines or a point system when drivers with these new permits break the law.

“The base would be held responsible for an action the base cannot control or be privy to or have no ability to stop in the future,” said Tarek Mallah, general manager of Dial-7 Car Service.

Richard Emery, with the trade association the Metropolitan Taxicab Board of Trade, was among the yellow taxi industry stakeholders who said there is already a problem of illegal poaching within the industry.

“Now the law and these rules seek to add up to 18,000 livery hail licenses that will compound, not alleviate the poaching scourge,” he said.

Emery suggested that the TLC seize vehicles that don’t honor the prescribed boundaries.

Others within the industry said they were confused about how this new class of for hire vehicle will operate and potentially change how they do business.

During the the hearing it was decided  the TLC would attempt to do more outreach by sending out 60,000 duplicate information packets to licensees since several information sessions about the rule changes have been poorly attended.

“Every segment of the industry is fearful about these new rules," said David Pollock, executive director for the Committee for Taxi Safety, a group that handles leasing for yellow taxi medallions. "The TLC needs to work with all parts of the industry to make sure one segment is not destroyed in the process.”

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Comments [1]

TAXI DRIVER from BROOKLYN

While some regulations and enforcement is fine, it shouldn't be taken to extremes, the way the TLC has been doing for some time now.

Regulations stifles innovation and ease of commerce:

Please read these articles:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-57402143-281/ten-worst-internet-laws-of-2012/

http://www.netchoice.org/hey-you-kids-turn-that-music-down/

The scope of the TLC, should be limited to getting illegal gypsy drivers, instead of generating revenue for the city by harassing legitimate livery drivers and bases via fines; so the city can close there budget issues on the backs of drivers.

Here are some suggestions for the TLC:

- STOP THE HARASSING TICKETING BLITZ ON DRIVERS AND BASES.
- ELIMINATE THE POINTS SYSTEM FROM FINES.
- REDUCE FINES PRICES ACROSS THE BOARD, BY AT LEAST HALF.
- Vehicle inspection should be done only once a year.
- Eliminate or greatly reduce the street hail livery base bond fee.
- Eliminate or greatly reduce street hail livery permit fee.
- Eliminate the additional equipment requirements.
- Eliminate or greatly reduce regulations that stifle innovation.
- Investigate and help reduce the high cost of insurance premiums.
- Encourage the creation of the Taxi Driver Protection Act.

Street hails will only bring the following:

- Unneccesary roaming of drivers.
- More Traffic.
- More Accidents.
- More Pollution.
- More un-sustainable regulations and expenses that stifle innovation and ease of commerce.
- An extremely expensive wheelchair accessible vehicle.
- Extremely expensive meters, credit card, and security equipment, that requires maintenance and inspections on a regular basis, hence an additional expense.
- Insurance Premiums Skyrocketing compared to standard livery insurance.
- $1500 for a street hail permit, outrageous.
- $15K for a street hail livery base bond, outrageous.

If the TLC really wants this to work, these should be the requirements:

- $100 for the street hail permit.
- No additional equipment, rules, or regulations.
- AGAIN, ELIMINATE THE POINTS SYSTEM FROM FINES.

Mar. 23 2012 10:34 PM

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