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Commissioner’s Corner

September 2016

Commissioner's Corner

Greetings, everyone! We hope you had a fantastic summer.  I am pleased to share with you some of the latest developments at the TLC this fall.

Safety Honor Roll

We hope you will join us this month in celebrating the work of TLC-licensed drivers with exemplary safety records, as well as the drivers and businesses who provide exceptional service to our city's many wheelchair users.  The TLC will hold its third annual Safety Honor Roll ceremony on September 14.  The ceremony will honor drivers who have no traffic violation or safety-related TLC rule convictions on their records, and have not been in any crashes with injuries for four years or longer. These hardworking drivers have kept safe their passengers, themselves, and those they share the street with while logging millions of miles.  We are proud to recognize this amazing achievement, and greatly appreciate their support in making the city's streets safer for all of us.

Accessibility

I would also like to share some good news with you on our City’s progress in becoming more accessible to people with disabilities.  At the end of July, there were 909 wheelchair-accessible medallion taxis, up from 237 in 2013.  Almost 300 of these cabs went into service in the six first months of 2016!

Our accessible dispatch program, where passengers can request a wheelchair-accessible taxi through a phone call, text, app, or website, is also hitting new milestones.  Since its first full year in 2013, the program has more than doubled the number of monthly trips it services. In June, the program had 6,042 requests, and 6,102 in May.

The advent of accessible dispatch citywide is also advancing.   Currently, the service takes passengers citywide, with trips beginning in Manhattan.  We expect full citywide services to begin early in calendar year 2017, with trips beginning anywhere-- as well as more and more wheelchair-accessible cabs to keep hitting the road.

Study Guide
When drivers apply for a TLC license, they can now access a comprehensive study guide in four languages from the TLC to prepare for the exam.  Available in English, Spanish, Bengali, and Urdu, the guide is a major resource for drivers on TLC rules, geography (including points of interest and the directions of streets and avenues, as well as the location of transit hubs and major river crossings), and Vision Zero, the City's plan to end traffic fatalities.  The guide assists drivers in reviewing the speed limit, red light turns, awareness of bike lanes, and the top reasons why licensees get critical driver points, such as moving violations and electronic device usage.  We are confident this guide will assist you in becoming a more professional and knowledgeable driver, who will make our City's streets better with his or presence.

Universal license
We will vote this month on the universal TLC driver's license, and appreciated the industry's helpful feedback during a July hearing on the proposed rule changes.  The universal license will give drivers the flexibility to move seamlessly between the sectors of the industry that we regulate, whether they want to drive yellow, green, or black.  We are excited that this change will optimize drivers' earning potential, as well as open new channels for them to find the work environment that is best for them at this stage in their lives.

Loss of our colleague
We were greatly saddened to lose our colleague Glenell Sullivan last month.  Glenell joined the TLC in June last year as a case manager for our prosecution division, and worked previously at the 311 Call Center, starting in 2009.  Glenell had an outgoing, friendly spirit, greeting everyone with a smile or pleasant hello.  She was recently promoted to Supervisor of Case Examiners, and we will greatly miss her exemplary work and dedication.  She will be truly missed, and we thank her for her service at the TLC and 311.

Driver application 
We learned recently that the new driver application status look-up on our website is the most popular New York City government dataset, and are gratified that it has been a helpful tool for thousands of applicants.  If you or someone you know has applied for a TLC driver's license, you can check the status here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/tlc/html/industry/new_driver_app_lookup.shtml.  We hope innovations like these will make the licensing process more convenient for our applicants.

Until next time, be safe and drive like your family lives here!

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