ON DECEMBER 13, 2017
PASS FHV ACCESSIBILITY RULE
TLC COMMISSIONERS VOTE &
BCAC SPECIAL UPDATE
& COALITION PILOT PROGRAM
OFFICIAL COALITION STATEMENT FOLLOWING THE COMMISSION VOTE:
The only way to provide wheelchair-users with true accessibility is an industry-wide solution that uses the expertise and innovation of the businesses that serve passengers day-in and day-out. The for-hire vehicle industry is committed to providing that service. Although the TLC authorized a pilot of our historic accessibility program, it has included provisions that will make it unnecessarily difficult for us to succeed. At the same time, it passed an unachievable mandate without any analysis whatsoever.
The TLC must now work with us to make our solution a viable and workable option for drivers and base operators, and one that provides wheelchair users with excellent service.
NYC TLC Commissioner & Chair Meera Joshi presiding over December 13th Commission Vote
This morning, the NYC TLC Board of Commissioners voted to approve three different measures - first was the TLC then-proposed FHV Accessibility rule, second was the Coalition Pilot, and third was the Connected Vehicle pilot (unrelated to the main issue of concern). All of the above mentioned measures were approved by the TLC Board of Commissioners.
While Commissioner Joshi stated the Resolution prior to the Commission vote, what was noticeably and most likely strategically omitted, was the onerous provisions within the now-passed rule - such as the ability of the Commissioner/Chair to cancel the Pilot program for any reason whatsoever, entirely at will, any time at all.
Following the passage of both the TLC rule and the Coalition pilot, several Commissioners made statements explaining their vote. First to comment was Commissioner Nora Constance Marino, the only Commissioner hold-out come time to vote. Commissioner Marino stated that she did not feel as if the TLC rules passed today best addressed the problem at hand, and that such a rule will invite litigation which could only further delay implementation of a real solution. With respect to the Coalition Pilot, she stated that she felt it has some very good ideas, and that when it was proposed at the September 28th Public Hearing, it was in its infancy, and has come a long way since then.
Furthermore, Commissioner Marino stated she would have liked to see a Public Hearing take place dedicated exclusively to the Coalition Pilot plan; adding that the "benefit of the doubt," so to speak, on what plan could work, should be given to the FHV Industry, saying "The people that are in the industry and have been for decades have a pretty good idea of how to solve problems within the industries, as opposed to people who are not in the industry who are reading books or looking at charts and flowsheets and all that, so for these reasons, I'm voting no. I think we can do better than what's proposed today."
The second and final Commissioner to speak was Commissioner Bill Aguado, who minutes prior had voted "Yes" on both the TLC rule and Coalition Pilot. He presented his stance: "It's not just a TLC issue, it's not just a private car issue, it's an issue for all of us to come and change the culture of how we look at our families and friends, to change the culture of how we will respect all members of every part of this great city of ours." Regardless, Commissioner Aguado continued on to address the insurmountable challenges small bases are now slated to face: "I am concerned about the vehicle owners and small fleet owners, but I think that's a process we have to undertake at this point."
Following this vote, the BCAC Board will be meeting to discuss steps for moving forward, including the preparation of litigation against the TLC, as we remain unwilling to accept the fact that the Coalition Pilot can be cancelled for any reason, at any time, at the Commissioner's will.
As always, if you have any questions, please click here to let us know.