By New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission
Chairwoman & Cheif Executive Officer
A new feature on the TLC’s website called TLC UP will make it easier and more convenient for applicants to upload documents for new driver and vehicle applications on the TLC website. Rather than emailing or mailing-in documents for review by the TLC, applicants can take a picture of a document on a mobile device or scan it in. By the time you read this, we anticipate this feature will be either live or available soon.
Applicants will be able to see which documents they have submitted, whether they have been accepted by the TLC, and what requirements still need to be met (such as a drug test or missing education requirement). TLC UP will accept a wide range of types of documents, from picture images to scanned paper work. The new feature will streamline our licensing process saving you time and making it easier to apply.
We were heartened last month that the New York State Senate passed legislation that would make it a felony, rather than a misdemeanor, if you assault a professional driver who is working for-hire. The Taxi Driver Protection Act raises the penalty for an assault on a taxi or For-Hire Vehicle (FHV) driver so that it is in line with an assault on a public transportation worker, paramedic, or sanitation worker.
A person convicted of such an assault could face up to seven years in jail, and postings in taxis and FHVs would alert passengers to this. At the time of this writing, the legislation next needs to pass the New York State Assembly where it has been introduced by Queens Assemblyman Ron Kim. We are following the bill closely.
Professional drivers work challenging jobs, and they deserve great respect for the hard work they do on our City’s streets. Yet, too often, we learn of disturbing attacks on TLC licensed drivers and other professional drivers in New York State. Drivers should never experience violence on the job, and we greatly appreciate the work of elected officials who want to strengthen penalties against those who assault professional drivers.
Our Accessible Dispatch program continues to play an important role in helping residents and visitors who use wheelchairs move around New York City. The service allows passengers to book one of more than 1,700 wheelchair-accessible taxicabs for a trip beginning in Manhattan through a call, text, website booking, or app.
The average driver made $652 from Taxi Improvement Fund (TIF) payments in 2017, and the average accessible vehicle owner received more than $7,500. In May this year, more than 7,200 trips were taken through the Accessible Dispatch Program, about 260 trips a day. Wait times were under 11 minutes for rides. More than 95% of trip requests came from direct calls, and about 1,260 drivers took passengers. We look forward to expanding the service to offer citywide pick-ups in the coming months.
Following a comprehensive review of our processes for applying for and renewing licenses, the TLC’s Commissioners unanimously approved a rule package during our June meeting that will make it easier to own and operate taxis and For-Hire Vehicles. Under the newly approved rules, drivers can renew an expired license up to six months following the expiration date. Expired vehicle licenses can be renewed up to 60 days following the expiration date.
Another change is that a $25 late fee will only be applied to renewal applications submitted after the license has expired. The TLC will now also consider taxi vehicle hardship extension requests from all taxi owners, as long as vehicles continue to pass safety and emission inspections three times a year.
If you are interested in learning more about these changes, you can review the newly approved rule package on the TLC website:
Until next time…drive like your family lives here!