By Meera Joshi
Greetings, friends! There has been a lot happening at the TLC this spring, with much more to come in early summer, and as always, I am pleased to share the latest developments with you.
Green Taxi Permits
As some of you may recall, for the last few years, state law required the purchasers of green cab permits to have held a TLC license for at least a year. As of June 13, however, they are now available to all! Green taxis can pick up both pre-arranged trips through smartphones or car services, and street hails in upper Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. They can also make pre-arranged pick-ups at LaGuardia and JFK Airports! Permits are available at $3,540 each, and you can make a convenient appointment to purchase one at bit.ly/greencab.
Online Application Status
Here’s a success story -- since we last spoke about the TLC’s new online licensing application status service, I am pleased to report that more than 3,000 drivers have taken advantage of the service to see where they are in the application process. All of you out there reading this – please, spread the word! Not surprisingly, people are really enjoying this service, and the more who know about it, the more who can benefit from it! To check the status of a driver’s license application, go to: www.nyc.gov/newdriverapplookup.
Here is the latest update on Universal Licenses. The proposed rules have been published, and are now available on our web site at bit.ly/universallicense. A public hearing on the rules – which codify the City Council’s legislation, recently signed into law by Mayor Bill de Blasio – will take place on July 18, so let your voices be heard!
Last month, we proposed new rules on driver fatigue, an issue we’ve discussed in this space before, but I thought it may be helpful to recap a bit. Currently, taxi drivers can only drive twelve consecutive hours a day, but even a short break can reset the clock -- and this rule does not apply to for-hire vehicle drivers. The new rules, if approved, would apply to all TLC drivers, and prohibit working for more than 12 hours in a 24-hour period, but it’s important to note that we built in flexibility -- those 12 hours can be broken up any way the driver wants to accommodate drivers with different shift types! There would also be a 72-hour limit for each seven-day week. The bottom line is this – not only would this help keep our pedestrians and your fellow drivers safer, but it will go a long way in ensuring that you get to go home to your families, too.
Baby Born in a Livery
In an only in New York moment, we learned that a baby was born in the back of a livery vehicle on June 10 in front of Mount Sinai Hospital, so let’s all give our best to the city’s newest cab rider!
Once Upon a Green Cab
Last but not least, I wanted to share with you all an amazing story from the NY Times about some friends whose lives were changed for the better, thanks to a chance ride in a green cab. Take a look: http://nyti.ms/1tAPkLR.
Until next time, be safe and drive like your family lives here! I wish you all a beautiful summer!
PS: With the weather heating up, please make sure your vehicle is properly “summerized” and that your A/C’s are up to par!