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COMMISSIONER'S COLUMN

September/October 2007

I would like to take this opportunity to thank those taxicab drivers who came to work on September 5th and 6th and continued to serve the public during the limited service disruption we experienced.  Not only did you help to make service available for your passengers, but you earned some extra-income for yourselves and your families as well.  I would also like to thank TLC staff and our government colleagues who worked around-the-clock with us on conceiving and implementing the contingency plan, including OEM, NYPD, DOT, Operations, MTA, the Port Authority and DoITT.

I have the deepest respect for those who use peaceful protest as a means of making their opinions and concerns known.  The TLC has listened and will continue to listen to the concerns of drivers.  It is our responsibility to do what we think is in the collective best interests of the City, the passengers and the industry – even if it is not “everything” that the drivers “want or do not want.”  I hope everyone understands and appreciates that the Mayor and all of the hardworking public servants at the TLC do care very much for the drivers, and have done a tremendous amount over the years to help them – and we will continue to do so.

That being said, please rest assured that we are 100% committed to ensuring that the new technology systems work well and that any problems that arise – as they do with any new system – are addressed immediately and efficiently so as not to inconvenience drivers or passengers.  Also, you have our commitment that the obligations set forth in our vendor contracts and TLC rules regarding the prompt repair of systems and payment to drivers for credit/debit card fares will be vigorously enforced.

Our collective plate is very full as autumn quickly approaches, with many exciting changes and TLC initiatives on the horizon.  First, I would like to again congratulate the taxicab industry owners and drivers for placing more than 1600 technology systems in their cabs ahead of schedule.  Please remember that the October 1st compliance date remains firm – and each taxicab that appears for its regularly scheduled inspection on or after October 1st must have one of the four approved systems fully installed and operational when appearing at our Woodside safety and emissions facility.  Also, when taxicab owners appear for this inspection, they must have placed the new taxicab design logos on their vehicles.

I am likewise pleased to announce that we are ready to commence the process for our final taxicab auction of 150 new accessible medallions.  As things now stand, we expect to be holding informational sessions on September 28 and October 3, technical workshops on October 10 and 16 – of course, information will be distributed on these  – and collecting bids on October 26, 29, 30 and 31, with openings taking place later that week.  (Keep an eye on our web site, and do not forget to sign up for instant email updates!)

I look forward to another exciting auction!  Until next month, I hope your summer was everything you wished it to be, and that like me, you are looking forward to an exciting fall……

 

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