By New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission
Chairman & Cheif Executive Officer
The TLC and DOT released a study on for-hire vehicle growth and congestion in New York City last month. The study followed a one year pause last summer on new for-hire vehicle licenses that are not wheelchair accessible.
The City studied the impact of the for-hire vehicle industry on traffic congestion, driver income, and traffic safety. Since the one year pause on new for-hire vehicle licenses, trips in this sector have continued to grow, and service has risen in the outer boroughs.
The study found that weekday travel speeds in Midtown Manhattan have dropped to 4.3 mph in November 2018, and down from 6.1 mph in November 2010. It also found that Uber, Lyft, Juno, and Via drivers spend 40% of their work time cruising for passengers. Cruising is unpaid time for drivers, and increases air pollution.
The TLC is proposing a two part policy based on the study’s findings:
Companies that do not meet a limit on how long they allow drivers to cruise will face fines. The cap on cruising will apply on weekdays from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., and weekends from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. The TLC will review service levels citywide every six months to determine whether the limit on new for-hire vehicles should be lifted. Wheelchair accessible vehicles and electric for-hire vehicles are exempt from this pause on new vehicle licenses.
You can read the proposed rules at bit.ly/newtlcrules. We look forward to listening to industry members and other stakeholders at the July 23rd hearing on the rules. You can also submit written comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Following successful pop-up driver assistance events in all five boroughs last year, the TLC will create a driver assistance center within the next year. It will have on-site staff to connect licensees with services that include debt restructuring assistance and financial counseling, screenings for HRA benefits, and referrals to mental health services.