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Taxi Improvement Fund - FAQ

Program Eligibility and Enrollment for Owners/Agents

Who is eligible for this program?

Owners/agents of unrestricted yellow cab medallions are eligible for the program for each approved accessible vehicle that they are required to place into service. See TLC Industry Notice #16-06 for more about the TLC’s accessibility requirements for unrestricted independent and unrestricted minifleet medallions. For a list of all independent unrestricted medallions selected during accessibility drawings to put accessible vehicles on the road, see TLC Industry Notice #16-01.

Owners/agents of wheelchair restricted medallions (independent or minifleet) are eligible to receive funding for every other accessible vehicle they put on the road following the start of the TIF program on 1/1/2016.

How do I apply for the Program?

Follow the instructions on the enrollment packet and mail the following forms to the PO Box in the instructions:

  1. Owner Authorization Form (2 pages)
  2. The City of New York Substitute Form W-9 (1 page)
  3. Bank Document (1 page)

All documents must be mailed to the address listed on the instruction page of the Authorization Forms. Do not mail your documents to the TLC.

Within one month of submitting your application, you should receive notice by email from the TLC regarding your application status.

What information must be present on the Bank Document?

For a bank document to be accepted it must include the following typewritten information: account-holder name, account-holder address, account number, and routing number. Acceptable bank documents include a letter from your financial institution, a direct deposit form, a wire transfer form, or a voided check.

See the examples in the enrollment instructions for more detail. Note that the name, account and routing numbers on the bank document must match exactly with the other enrollment forms.

I received a Missing Requirements Letter/Notice of Missing Requirements, what does that mean?

There was a problem with your application identified during our enrollment and validation process. This could be because the information you provided in your application either is incorrect or did not match TLC records, or your application is incomplete.

What do I do if I receive a Missing Requirements Letter?

The email or phone call you received should provide more detail on the problem with your application. You need to address the issues that are stated in the Missing Requirements Letter and resubmit all three forms in a new application packet to the address listed in the forms. Please note: Missing Requirements Letters will be sent via email whenever possible; please be sure to provide the correct email address in your TIF application for the fastest response time.

What do I do if my bank account closes or changes?

The TIF Program will make payments to an enrolled and eligible owner or agent until and unless the owner or agent informs us of an account change, or a payment is returned by the bank. We cannot return/reassign a payment that has already been made. If your bank account information changes, please inform us ASAP by contacting tift@tlc.nyc.gov or 212.676.1111. You will then reapply with the new bank account information, and the TIF Program will make future payments to the new account once your re-enrollment is complete.

Can I update my information after I enroll in the Program?

Yes, if your medallion is enrolled and you wish to change any information on file with the TIF Program (agent or owner of record, banking information, contact information), you should submit a new application following the instructions above. TIF staff will contact you to verify that you wish to make an account update in the next enrollment cycle. If your medallion ownership or agency status changes, the new owner or agent must submit a new application to update your information with the TIF Program.

If I hack-up a used WAV on a medallion to meet the accessibility requirement, will this vehicle be eligible for the TIF Program?

A wheelchair accessible vehicle that was previously attached to a medallion can be re-hacked to a second medallion to meet the accessibility requirement, provided the re-hack meets the requirements of Ch 67-06 of TLC rules. The medallion that re-hacks the vehicle is not eligible for a hack-up payment on this vehicle, but will be eligible for unpaid maintenance payments within the four-year accessibility requirement cycle.

Used Streethail Livery (SHL) WAVs cannot be re-hacked to meet the accessibility requirement at this time. The TLC’s used car pilot program, which allowed owners to hack-up a used accessible Streethail Livery vehicle (SHL, or boro taxi) into the medallion space, ended in early 2017 and is currently under evaluation. If you have questions about this program please call 212-676-1157.

Program Payments for Owners/Agents

How do I get paid in this program?

Any funding for which you are eligible, for vehicle hack-up or maintenance, will be directly deposited into the bank account you provide during enrollment. Payments are made approximately once a month, and the transaction will appear as an “ACH Transfer” on your bank statement.

What is the timeline from when I submit my documents to when I receive my payment?

The enrollment process for the owner program begins at the start of each month, and takes approximately one month to complete. Payments are also released once a month; usually on the last Friday of the month. For more detailed timeline information, see the Owner/Agent Payroll Calendar.

When will I be eligible for a $14,000 hack-up payment?

Medallions that qualify for and successfully enroll in the Fund are eligible for a one-time hack-up payment after the purchase and hack-up of an accessible Nissan NV200 or another TLC-approved Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV). Monthly payments are made for hack-up and subsequent inspections that took place at least one week prior to the payment date.

If you wish to purchase another TLC-approved WAV, you must apply for and be granted one of the Accessible Taxi of Tomorrow waivers before purchase. For additional information on vehicle requirements, please visit our Vehicles Approved as Taxicabs page.

Are there specific criteria that vehicles must meet to receive maintenance payments after each inspection?

Yes, a taxi must complete at least 250 trips between each scheduled, tri-annual inspection in order to receive maintenance payments of $1,333 following each successful inspection, totaling up to $16,000 over four years. Medallions must also be logged in to the Accessible Dispatch program, be current on their Taxi Improvement Surcharge payments, and have no outstanding debt with the City of New York.

Owners and agents will be notified of any such issues during the enrollment process. To review and pay and outstanding Taxi Improvement Surcharge bills, visit the online payment system LARS.

If I believe the payment I received is incorrect, whom do I contact?

Monthly payments are posted to the New York City Open Data portal here, one to two business days after payment is disbursed. Once you have received a payment, visit this page to check which medallion(s) received what payment amount(s).

Submit payment inquiries via the TIF website submission portal, via email to TIF@tlc.nyc.gov or call (212) 676-1111. Staff will respond to payment inquiries as quickly as possible.

What do I do if I am an agent with a medallion that has unpaid TIF Surcharge debt incurred before I became the managing agent?

We cannot make payments out of the Taxi Improvement Fund to any medallion that owes money into the Fund. While the current agent is not responsible for unpaid TIF Surcharge debt incurred by a prior agent, the agent is working on behalf of the medallion owner, who is ultimately responsible for all TIF Surcharge payments. The medallion is therefore ineligible for TIF payments until all outstanding TIF Surcharge bills have been paid, and it is the responsibility of the current agent to work with the owner to resolve any payments owed. If an owner or agent feels that a prior agent did not appropriately pay TIF Surcharge bills, please contact tifcollections@tlc.nyc.gov to further discuss the issue and whether there is an appropriate case for prosecution.

Is this funding taxable?

Program participants should expect to receive a Form 1099 from the City of New York with their annual TIF income Please consult your tax professional for more information.

Program Eligibility and Enrollment for Drivers

Who is eligible for this program?

All current licensees who complete and submit program agreement documents are eligible to enroll in this program. However, a driver will only receive payments for trips made in wheelchair accessible medallion taxicabs (see Payments section below for details) after the driver is enrolled in the program.

How do I enroll in the Program?

Follow the instructions on the enrollment packet and mail the following forms to the mailbox indicated in the instructions:

  1. Driver Authorization Form (1 page).
  2. The City of New York Substitute Form W-9 (1 page).

All documents must be mailed to the address listed on the instruction page of the Authorization Forms. Do not mail your documents to the TLC.
 
I received a Missing Requirements Letter, what does that mean?

There was a problem with your application identified during our enrollment and validation process. This could be because the information you provided in your application is incorrect or did not match TLC records, or your application is incomplete.

What do I do if I receive a Missing Requirements Letter?

The letter you received should provide more detail on the problem with your application. You need to address the issues that are stated in the Missing Requirements Letter and resubmit both forms in a new application packet. If there was a problem with your address, check the LARS online system and ensure that your mailing address and other information is up to date. If your mailing address is no longer accurate, please update it in LARS and then resubmit your application.

Please note: Missing Requirements Letters will be sent via email whenever possible; please be sure to provide the correct email address in your TIF application for the fastest response time.

I was notified that I have been enrolled in the program but I still have not received my card. What is happening?

Debit cards usually take 7-10 business days from the date you receive the confirmation email to arrive at the address provided in your application. Debit cards arrive by mail in a white unmarked envelope. If you suspect your card has been lost or stolen, or have any other problems with your debit card, please contact Bank of America at 1.866.213.4074 as soon as possible.

Program Payments for Drivers

How does this program work?

Enrolled drivers will receive $0.50 for every trip made in a wheelchair accessible yellow taxi. Drivers are still eligible for payments for trips made in wheelchair accessible vehicles even if the passenger is not a wheelchair user.

When does payment start?

The TLC will start counting WAV trips when the driver is successfully enrolled (drivers will be notified by email or phone). All drivers are paid on the same bi-weekly schedule for the same trip dates. There is not back pay to when a driver started driving a WAV, so it is to a drivers’ benefit to enroll as soon as they are licensed and WAV trained.

How will I get paid?

The TLC will release payments every other Friday following the calendar available here. Drivers enrolled in this program will receive a personal Bank of America TLC debit card, to which Bank of America will dispense funds to be provided by the TLC.

What trips is a driver being paid for on a given pay date?

Payments look back by about one month. For example, a driver who enrolls in early February and gets their first payment on Feb 10 will be paid on that date for trips from 12/31/16 – 1/13/17. All subsequent payments follow the same schedule. Drivers may refer to this calendar for the exact payment schedule.

Is there a minimum number of trips I must drive in order to get paid?

A driver must complete at least 40 trips in any given two week period in order to receive payments for that period. If a driver does not complete 40 trips in any given period, the money the driver earned will be carried over and added to a future payment date when the driver is eligible to receive at least $20.

I think that I was not paid the correct amount. Who do I contact?

Submit payment inquiries via the TIF website submission portal, via email to TIF@tlc.nyc.gov or call 212.676.1111. Staff will respond to payment inquiries as quickly as possible. Be prepared to provide documentation for your claim.

I believe my debit card has been lost or stolen. What do I do?

If you suspect your card has been lost or stolen, or have any other problems with your debit card, please contact Bank of America at 1.866.213.4074 as soon as possible.

Is this a reimbursement of the 50-cent MTA State Surcharge?

No, the TIF Driver program is not a reimbursement program for the 50-cent MTA State Surcharge. Contact the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance or see this webpage for more information on this New York State program.

Will I receive deadhead payments for Accessible Dispatch trips through my debit card?

No – dispatch fees for accessible trips through the Metro Taxi dispatch program will continue to be disbursed through owners and agents. If you believe you have not received appropriate dispatch payments, please contact Lisa Cassella of Metro Taxi at 203.934.2096 x1141 or lisa@metrotaxict.com. For more information about this Program, see the Accessible Dispatch page or this recent Industry Notice.

Is this funding taxable?

Program participants should expect to receive a Form 1099 from the City of New York with their annual TIF income. Please consult your tax professional for more information.


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