One topic that is on the minds of many of our licensees is the price of fuel, and how it affects them from day-to-day. Of course, this topic is on the TLC’s collective minds as well, and that is why I scheduled the issue to be presented at our Board meeting on June 15th. Meanwhile, the TLC has received three industry petitions requesting various forms of temporary surcharges. Though each petition differs, I have accepted each of them as being in proper legal form, and TLC staff is in the process of reviewing the various requests. Although I have up to 60 days to render a decision on the petitions, I will do everything I can to render a decision on or before July 3rd. Until this matter is finally resolved though, we are grateful for a temporary relief or respite in that prices have somewhat stabilized over the last few weeks.
I should also mention that I am writing this column on the third and last day of the first medallion sale for 54 accessible medallions. Next week, we will be accepting bids for the 254 alternative fuel medallions that Mayor Bloomberg ensured would be available. While I cannot at this moment predict how many bids we will be receiving, I am very proud of the hard work of TLC staff in terms of the detailed planning and implementation, the extensive outreach program we undertook, as well as the efforts of the industry’s brokers and lenders – without whom the sales could not possibly be successful.
On other fronts, we have made some excellent progress with regard to reaching a compromise to obtain State legislation codifying “reciprocity” standards and procedures. As a result of regulatory activity on Long Island, I know this subject is on the minds of many New York City industry members. I can assure you that progress is being made, and I remain personally involved in active negotiations with the highest levels of government in Suffolk, Westchester and Nassau Counties as well as for-hire vehicle industry leaders. We are now working with State legislators on a bill that would ensure the right of our licensed for-hire vehicle industry to drop-off passengers anywhere in the State - without sacrificing the high standards that we have implemented to protect the public. We will continue our efforts and despite the daily ups-and-downs of negotiations, remain optimistic that a positive resolution can be achieved.
Speaking of ups-and-downs, this month has had many – including public perception about our regulated industries following selective media reporting. We have faced many other challenges in our time together, yet the overwhelming majority of people in our regulated industries that I continue to meet in my travels always remain positive about the direction in which we are moving. That is so encouraging to all of us at the TLC, and we thank you for your support.