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COMMISSIONER'S COLUMN

May 2010

Hello!  My name is David Yassky and I was recently nominated and confirmed as the 11th Commissioner and Chairman of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission.

I appreciate this opportunity to let you all know how proud I am to continue my career in public service as the head of an agency that is charged with the regulation of six industries that are truly indispensable parts of the city’s comprehensive transportation network – and the most unique ones, at that.  Why unique?  Because they are perceived by so many as being a form of mass transit.  In other words, a privately-held and operated group of industries that are collectively perceived similarly to a governmentally-operated and subsidized transportation mode.  While there are many reasons why the primary tasks of the TLC and its commissioner are complex, the aforementioned fact creeps up near the top of the list of these.

It is for the reason enumerated above that it is particularly crucial for me to embrace that portion of the TLC’s mission that deals with the balancing of needs of all the many and varied stakeholders, from the passengers to the drivers, from the agents to the meter shops, etc.

In the coming weeks, I will be articulating my “vision” for the agency in various forums, talking to hundreds of people in the industries you serve, and learning more about the TLC, its operations, policies and protocols, and its history with those we regulate.  I spent several pleasant hours during a recent night shift listening and learning from drivers at the JFK Central Taxi Hold.  Earlier this week, I participated in a taxi driver forum sponsored by WNYC radio, where I enjoyed a history lesson complemented by a free flow of ideas and concerns.  I am truly excited at the prospect of getting to know many more drivers from throughout the TLC’s regulated industries in the weeks and months to come.

Just to let you know a little about myself, I most recently served the city for eight years as a Council Member from Brooklyn.  Before that, I had a long legal career in the areas of government and private practice, and spent a fair amount of time teaching administrative and constitutional law at both Brooklyn Law School and NYU Law School.  It was in these roles that I learned about the importance of customer service, and the fact that serving your constituents is what government is and should always be about – lessons that I intend to effectively apply in my job as Commissioner of the TLC.

On a more personal note, I can’t tell you how exciting it is for me to be so closely involved in what is arguably the best, most important and most significant ground transportation industry in the world.  You move more than a million passengers each and every day, a feat that leaves me justifiably impressed with you all both collectively and as individuals.  Now let’s see what we can do together to continue to impress the public we all serve……

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