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WNYC News

New Borough Taxis to Be Painted Green, Insiders Say

Thursday, March 08, 2012

The city is moving ahead with its plan to sell street hail livery permits that allow livery cars to accept street hails in upper Manhattan and the outer boroughs. Part of the plan: the cabs have to be noticeably different from other taxis.

TELL US: What shade of green best suits livery cabs?

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WNYC News

NYC to Challenge Taxi Accessibility Order

Monday, February 27, 2012

WNYC

City lawyers are heading to court Tuesday seeking an appeal of a judge's order that the Taxi and Limousine Commission must submit a long term-plan for wheelchair accessibility.

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WNYC News

Judge Rules TLC Must Help Disabled Riders

Friday, December 23, 2011

In a decision that's the first of its kind in the country, a federal judge barred the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission from issuing medallions for taxis unless they are accessible to people with disabilities.

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WNYC News

Debate Over How to Stop Sex Trafficking Puts Focus on Car Services

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Several advocates for sex trafficking victims are pushing the City Council for legislation that would penalize livery car drivers for knowingly transporting individuals forced into prostitution.

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The Takeaway

The Mayor of Dearborn on 'All-American Muslim'

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Takeaway has been talking this week about the controversy that has erupted around the TLC reality show "All-American Muslim" after the home improvement store Lowe's pulled its ads from the broadcast. The move came after a group called the Florida Family Association launched a campaign against the show, urging companies to pull their ads. Reaction to the Florida Family Association and Lowe's has raised the profile of the cable show, as well as the community of Dearborn, Michigan where it is filmed.

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The Takeaway

Listener Responses: Lowe's and 'All-American Muslim'

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

On Monday, The Takeaway reported on the home improvement store Lowe's pulling its advertising from the TLC reality show "All-American Muslim" after a conservative Florida lobbying group launched a campaign against the show. Takeaway listeners have a lot to say about this incident and what it means for religion in America.

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The Takeaway

Lowe's Pulls Ads From Reality Show 'All-American Muslim'

Monday, December 12, 2011

Last month The Takeaway discussed "All-American Muslim," TLC's latest reality show. In the month that the show has been on air, the Florida Family Association mounted a campaign against the program. Last week, one of the show's advertisers, Lowe's, announced that they would no longer run their ads on "All-American Muslim." "Lowe's has received a significant amount of communication on this program, from every perspective possible," the company's statement said. "Individuals and groups have strong political and societal views on this topic, and this program became a lightning rod for many of those views."

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WNYC News

Disabled Residents Plead Their Case To Get More Accessible Cabs

Thursday, November 03, 2011

WNYC

A meeting among taxi industry stakeholders is taking place at the Governor's office on Friday, as he considers whether to sign the Bloomberg administration's 5 Borough Taxi Plan. Disabled New Yorkers say they're optimistic that in the process Governor Andrew Cuomo will help make the city's taxi fleet more accessible.

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Transportation Nation

A Tense 40th Anniversary for NY's Taxi Commission

Friday, July 29, 2011

(Kathleen Horan, WNYC -- New York) The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission’s recent monthly meeting was well attended at their new offices on Beaver Street in Lower Manhattan.Yellow cab drivers and others affiliated with the drivers’ group, the Taxi Worker’s Alliance, stood along the back wall of the hearing room closely monitoring the Commission’s discussion about possible rule changes regarding rooftop ads that can be seen affixed to the top of more than 8,000 yellow cabs.

Others in the industry were also accounted for: fleet owners, taxi leasing agents, livery base owners and others whose livelihoods are affected in one way or the other by the TLC.

Various stakeholders had received invites to stick around after the meeting for a reception celebrating the 40th anniversary of the agency whose initials don’t actually abbreviate the words tender loving care.

Rather than a festive birthday party atmosphere, the meeting felt palpably tense. It was the first since the Bloomberg administration won support in Albany for legislation that would legalize street hails for specially permitted livery cars in the outer boroughs.Some in the room had vigorously fought the bill. Arms were tightly folded in many of the chairs as the commissioners went through the day’s agenda.

As the meeting adjourned, various factions of the industry clustered in different areas of the floor like cliques in a high school quad.

The TLC’s longtime press secretary Alan Fromberg asked that people stick around -- that sandwiches were on the way.

When Commissioner David Yassky was asked about the meaning of 40th birthday of the agency that’s responsible for licensing and regulating the city’s cabs and other for-hire vehicles -- he said a lot has changed since 1971 and plenty has stayed the same.

“If you look back over the very first year of the TLC existence they were dealing with two big issues: one was taxis that refused service to Brooklyn and Queens -- still with us -- and the fact that people can’t hail a cab in Brooklyn and Queens and the Bronx, Staten Island. That’s also still with us although I believe we are on the verge of solving that one.”

Yassky said he thinks the great triumph of the TLC has been the establishment and maintenance of the brand: the yellow taxi. The mandate that all NYC metered cabs be uniform yellow predates the TLC by a year -- taxis have been officially yellow since January 1st, 1970 -- but 40 years of brand management leaves Yassky proud.

“It’s been known world wide,  respected, admired and desired... The value of the medallion is the proof of it.The value of the medallion has gone up four times the rate of the stock market! So that tells you the TLC does something right."

Sporting his TLC 40th anniversary commemorative lapel pin (left), Yassky boasted, "600,000 people a day get into cabs. That’s not a bubble that’s real.That revenue is going to keep coming in."

David Pollock who represents a group of medallion owners and taxi leasing agents, agreed that the city did a great thing when they created a medallion system.But he criticized the way the TLC was currently being run, on his way to the elevator.

He added, “we have a commission who want to destroy the same medallion system that had worked so well for 75 years who the whole world looks at and models their own transportation systems after.”

Pollock and others believe the new outer borough street hail rule will devalue yellow medallions who have had the exclusive right to street hails since the 1930’s.

Twenty minutes after the commission meeting adjourned, the sandwiches and drinks hadn’t arrived and the last few taxi driver’s left to go grab lunch before shift change.

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Transportation Nation

NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission - Dollar Van Progam a Total Bust

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A dollar van on Bushwick Avenue

A dollar van on Bushwick Avenue (Photo by Stephen Nessen)

(Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation) The NYC TLC announced with some fanfare last spring that it would use private vans to serve bus routes that had been eliminated entirely. But, it turns out, no one -- really, almost no one -- used them.

The TLC released the stats today. Along the B23 line in Brooklyn, 1580 riders used to take the bus. Two took the privately run commuter vans. The most "successful" line was along the former Q79, which had 650 riders, and about 27 customers a day.

According to the TLC "Lessons Learned:"
* Drivers won't cruise where there is no demand.
* Timing is everything.
* Local outreach/advertising is essential.

The TLC recommends the pilot "be terminated and the lessons learned from it be used to inform other projects in underserved areas."  It says the three-month lag in setting up the commuter van meant commuters found other options, and by then, drivers weren't cruising for non-existent drivers.

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Transportation Nation

New York City Picks Finalists for Taxis of Tomorrow -- You Can Vote!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Here's one-- there are three other "Taxi of Tomorrow Finalists:  Click here for the others --

From the Press Release: Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Taxi and Limousine Commissioner/Chairman David S. Yassky today unveiled the three finalists to be the new, exclusive New York City taxicab. The competition, called the “Taxi of Tomorrow,” will introduce the first-ever custom-built taxicab specifically designed for New York City. The Taxi of Tomorrow project includes a public input campaign where New Yorkers can vote of the features they want to see in the next New York City taxicab. The winning vehicle will be the exclusive New York City taxicab for a minimum of ten years and will be chosen from among several competitive proposals. The three designs selected as the finalists to be the Taxi of Tomorrow are submissions from Ford Motor Company, Karsan USA and Nissan North America, Inc.

Love 'em? Hate 'em?  Vote here

And send us your comments!

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Transportation Nation

Facing Big Bus Cuts, New York City to Expand Van Network

Monday, June 21, 2010

(Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation) Facing system-wide cuts in mass transit this weekend, WNYC has learned New York City is looking to vastly expand it private commuter van network. So-called dollar vans, which actually cost $2.00, operate throughout the city, picking up passengers who flag them down and dropping them off along specified routes. The vans, which are privately operated, are regulated by the city Taxi and Limosine commission, or TLC. According to those with direct knowledge of the situation, the TLC has been quietly meeting with dollar van operators to expand their routes to pick up much of the slack left by bus line cuts. Those cuts go into effect on Sunday, though the expansion of dollar van routes isn’t expected to take place that quickly.

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