Each year, the City’s Public Design Commission honors public projects with its NYCxDesign Competition. This year, the Public Design Commission recognized projects that create sustainable spaces and build a more resilient city. We are pleased to announce that the projects honored this year include the expansion and renovation of the TLC’s Woodside facility, in an exciting collaboration with the Department of Design and Construction, TEN Arquitectos, and W Architecture and Landscape Architecture.
At the new facility, our agency’s inspection capacity will increase significantly. The TLC will be able to inspect 283,000 vehicles a year, up from 240,000-- leading to shorter wait times for our licensees. This is time drivers can spend on the road doing business, or spend with their families.
The existing inspection, garage, and office facility will be replaced by offices in an elevated, louver-screened structure that will be situated above the existing eight-lane garage. The structure’s height will allow for additional traffic lanes, improve traffic flow on the adjacent roadway, and expedite operations on site.
The facility will have a landscape design with fully-planted outdoor space for vehicle owners and drivers to rest and gather. The building will use almost 30% less energy, and further the City’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The garage will have a green roof, which will improve the local environment and create a pleasant outdoor space. The roof will have meadow grass and trees, and will capture storm water. Bioswales – a kind of natural filtration system -- will be planted at ground level and help reduce storm runoff.
Of course, it will be several years before we get to cut the ribbon to this amazing new facility, but I wanted to share this news with you so that you can begin anticipating it as eagerly as we do!
Licensing Rules Review
After an extensive review of all the processes involved with applying for and renewing TLC licenses, the agency will be considering a package of updates that would, if approved, simplify its rules to make it easier to drive a TLC-licensed vehicle, including giving more time for drivers and vehicle owners to renew and reopen expired licenses.
The proposed rules would permit a driver to renew a license up to six months after its expiration, and a vehicle owner for up to sixty days. Renewal applicants would have a $25 late fee once their license had expired.
The TLC will also consider removing the limitation that only independent medallion owners can request a hardship extension beyond a vehicle’s retirement date. It is important to note that if an owner has a hardship and is granted an extension that the taxicab must still pass safety and emission inspections three times a year to stay in service.
If you’d like to learn more about these proposed simplifications, you can see them all at:
Driver fatigue and trip record collection
Starting June 2017, FHV bases must begin to record both pick-up and drop-off information for all trips that they dispatch. When bases submit June trip record data to the TLC, both pick-up and drop-off data must be included. If you would like to review how to submit trip record data, visit this link: http://www.nyc.gov/html/tlc/html/industry/fhv_etrip_record_submission.shtml. This trip data will help the City monitor passenger time to help prevent fatigued driving.
The City’s goal is to reduce risky driving behavior, and driving tired is as dangerous as driving drunk. Before any summonses would be issued, the TLC will provide warnings to at-risk drivers. In the meantime, the TLC is doing extensive outreach to drivers on the risks of fatigued driving and how they may effectively stay within daily and weekly limits.
Drivers are limited to ten hours of passenger time in each 24-hour period, and 60 hours of passenger time each calendar week. The TLC will only count the time when a driver has a passenger in the vehicle. Any time that drivers spend cruising, driving to meet a passenger, waiting at the airport, or taking a break will not count as passenger time.
We appreciate the industry’s work in both collecting trip data and preventing unsafe driving behavior so that our streets are safe for everyone.
Until next time……drive like your family lives here!