Important Medallion and Outer-Borough Street Hail Permit Updates Summarized by Matt Daus

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The legislative activity at the end of the last session in Albany - and in the coming months - may have a significant impact on the system of taxicab and for-hire vehicle service which has existed for decades.

There has been much confusion about the current state of the legislative process and the various proposals circulating, so we would like to provide everyone with a quick and simple primer explaining important pending legislation. There are two key bills that are expected to be delivered to Governor Andrew Cuomo for his approval, namely S.5825 and S. 5854. It appears that the "home rule" message requirement that ordinarily involves New York City Council approval has been bypassed, and many of the provisions relating to implementation and further policymaking will be promulgated directly by the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) through its rulemaking process. In addition to this new legislation, New York State Senator Martin Golden has informed us that the City of New York may enter into a Memorandum of Understanding to ensure higher and dedicated levels of illegal street hail enforcement to support this new law. The delivery of these bills to the Governor has been delayed for a variety of reasons. The effective date to implement the new medallions and hail privilege permits is January 15, 2012.

Additional Yellow Taxicab Medallions
  • 1,500 new taxicab medallions will be issued after July 1, 2012.
  • 569 of these 1,500 new yellow taxi medallions must be wheelchair accessible.
  • These permits will operate with all of the privileges and rights of current law and are believed to be able to pick-up anywhere in the City of New York.
  • TLC will decide whether to issue these medallions via public auction, sealed bid or by some other competitive process.
  • These new yellow medallions will not be issued unless a task force (see below) is established, and until after the new "hail privilege" permits (see below) are issued.
New "Hail Privilege" Permits for For-Hire Vehicles and Base Stations
  • Up to 30,000 vehicle permits and 400 base permits may be issued by the TLC.
  • These permitted vehicles must have meters installed and can pick-up passengers anywhere except New York City Airports (JFK and LaGuardia); Manhattan North of East 96th Street; and Manhattan North of West 110th Street.
  • These vehicles may still accept pre-arranged calls from FHV bases.
  • The initial sale of both base and vehicle permits (the number and timing to be set by TLC) will only be offered to current FHV vehicle and base owners who have held a license for more than 3 years.
  • Hail permits are "non-transferable" and are renewable every 3 years for a fee of $1500 per vehicle and $3000 per base.
  • Setting the metered rate of fare, and how and whether such vehicles will install Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and credit/debit card readers, will be up to the TLC and a majority vote of its Board of Commissioners.
  • The MTA surcharge charged to yellow taxicabs will also apply to FHV hail permit holders.
New "Task Force" Created on "NYC Areas Underserved by Medallion Taxicabs"
  • Within 2 months of the law's passage, this task force is required to hold public hearings in each of the 5 boroughs, and issue a report with recommendations which may include identifying up to 5 locations where FHVs will be prohibited from picking-up street hails.
  • The task force must have a "unanimous vote" of its 4 appointees, which include one member each appointed by the Mayor, the Assembly Speaker, the Senate Majority Leader, and the Speaker of the NYC Council.
  • The task force's recommendations "must" be implemented by the TLC.