On April 30, 2014, The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) board of commissioners unanimously voted to approve a package of groundbreaking proposed rules that will achieve a 50% wheelchair accessible taxicab fleet by the year 2020. The historic vote took place at a monthly meeting of the TLC at its 33 Beaver Street headquarters in Manhattan.

The vote signals the most significant expansion of the number of accessible cabs on city streets in the New York City taxi industry’s 107 year history. By 2020, half of all yellow taxis — 7,500 total — will be wheelchair accessible.

The new rules call for a 30-cent per-ride Taxi Improvement Surcharge to be integrated into the yellow medallion taxicab fare as of January 1, 2015. A similar surcharge in green Street Hail Liveries will support improvements for those vehicles. The new wheelchair accessible cabs will begin to join the fleet starting in January 2016, joining the existing 631 accessible medallions that exist today.

The approved rules codify the steps necessary to satisfy the terms of a settlement with disability advocates to ensure greater access and equity for New Yorkers with disabilities.

"This is about recognizing the fundamental rights of New Yorkers with disabilities. Our transportation systems should open doors, not close them,"said Mayor Bill de Blasio. "This plan is fair and equitable, and most importantly, it’s achievable. I commend the Taxi & Limousine Commission and its chair Meera Joshi for advancing this vital change for thousands of New Yorkers."

"The actions taken by the Taxi and Limousine Commission as a unified body represent the most significant advancement in equality for persons with disabilities in the taxi industry’s history,"said TLC Chair and CEO Meera Joshi, who presided over her first public meeting. "It was a privilege to vote alongside my fellow commission members for this empowering and timely initiative."

"The Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities applauds the TLC Commissioners for voting to make NYC cabs accessible for all," said Victor Calise, Commissioner of MOPD. "Advocates, MOPD and TLC have worked hard and long to make this day a reality. This vote clearly puts forth Mayor de Blasio's progressive agenda in providing services for the most vulnerable populations."

Taxi operators bringing accessible taxis into service in 2016 will be eligible for grants to subsidize the cost of accessible taxi conversions. Additional funds will be made available on an annual basis to defray the higher maintenance costs associated with accessible vehicles.

The approved rules also contain a driver training component providing that all new, incoming taxi drivers who apply for their taxi operator’s ("hack") license after June 1, 2014 must receive wheelchair passenger assistance training. All taxi drivers must receive training by the time of their first license renewal after January 1, 2016.



In December 2011, the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) approved the creation of the Accessible Dispatch program to provide on-demand taxi dispatch service to customers in wheelchairs. The program is financed by the Taxi Accessibility Fee which is a required fee to be paid by all medallion owners annually pursuant to TLC Rule §58-16(f).

The Taxi Accessibility Fee for 2014-2015 is $260 per medallion you own or manage.

This payment is mandatory. However, the taxi accessibility fee payment period is over. Failure to pay the taxi accessibility fee by Close of Business on May 27, 2014 will result in a summons and a $1,000 fine as per the cited rule. This deadline had previously been extended from April 18 to May 19, and is being extended again to help medallion owners achieve compliance.


On May 16, 2014, The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) highlighted its commitment to improving for-hire transportation options in upper Manhattan and the other boroughs, and announced upcoming goals and milestones for the Street Hail Livery (SHL) program. Chief among these goals will be to ensure that the plan fully optimizes every available opportunity to enrich service for persons who use wheelchairs.

In keeping with the de Blasio administration’s emphasis on communications and inclusion, the TLC is also currently in discussions with all stakeholders, including members of the green Boro Taxi industry and accessibility advocates, about how to best maximize legal, quality service throughout the five boroughs for all riders.

TLC Chair Meera Joshi stated,“The expansion of this service will have far reaching effects on many constituencies, and the importance of fully considering accessibility, making sure that every stakeholder’s voice is heard, and that all concerns have been heard and addressed is vital to the continued success of this program.”

Of the 6,000 SHL permits issued last year, over 5,000 of the vehicles are currently on the road providing service. The program’s enabling state legislation allows the second issuance of up to 6.000 permits to be sold anytime after mid-June.



The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) is pleased to notify its licensees that, starting in August 2014, the TLC will begin selling the next installment of 6,000 Street Hail Livery (SHL or “boro taxi”) permits.

Between now and then, the TLC will be working with the New York State Department of Transportation, disability advocates, the New York City Council and members of the boro taxi industry to determine how many of these new permits will be required to be used with a wheelchair accessible vehicle.

Also during this period, the TLC will host outreach events in each borough to share information about the boro taxi program with, and to elicit feedback on the program from, the public and potential permit purchasers.

Starting in mid-July, the TLC will begin e-mailing prospective purchasers who are currently on the wait list to schedule appointments to purchase these permits. E-mails with the date and time of the purchase appointment will be sent to the e-mail address provided by the prospective purchaser when they placed themselves on the wait list. All appointments will be scheduled at the TLC's Licensing facility in Long Island City, Queens.

Please check our website at: for updates and additional information on the status of the program, as well as for locations and details on the boro taxi borough events.



What are we proposing?

The Taxi and Limousine Commission is considering changing its rules. The change would add an exemption to the TLC Rules governing licensing requirements for Medallion Taxicab Drivers.

When and where is the Hearing?

The Commission will hold a public hearing, at which the public and interested parties are invited to submit comments and testimony on the proposed rules, at 9:00 a.m. on June 19, 2014. This hearing will be held in the Commission’s public hearing room at 33 Beaver St., New York, NY on the 19th Floor.


In 1999, the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) adopted a taxi school requirement to ensure that New York City’s taxi drivers have the training required to provide good customer service. Today, there are 11,000 taxi drivers in the pool of 53,000 active drivers who received their license before 1999. Under the current rule, these drivers must complete taxi school when they reapply for a license. The TLC has determined, however, that these drivers do not need to attend taxi school because they already have the experience needed to provide good taxi service to the public. The TLC is therefore proposing to amend its rules to exempt these taxi drivers from the taxi school requirement.

The Commission believes that waiving the taxi school requirement for this group of experienced drivers with good records, that is, who have no outstanding summonses, fines or suspensions, will not pose a threat to the public’s safety, while relieving the drivers from an unnecessary requirement. However, this exemption will not apply to the requirement that all applicants and renewal applicants for taxicab drivers licenses complete sex trafficking awareness training which was introduced in December, 2012.

The Commission’s authority for this rule change is found in section 2303 of the New York City Charter and section 19-503 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York.

Section 1. Paragraph (6) of subdivision (k) of section 54-04 of Title 35 of the Rules of the City of New York is renumbered paragraph (7), and a new paragraph (6) is added, to read as follows:

(6) Life Experience Exemption. Any Applicant for a License who previously held a valid Taxicab Driver’s License will not be required to take the Authorized Taxicab Training course, provided that applicant meets the following conditions:

(i) The Applicant obtained the previous Taxicab Driver’s License before January 1, 1999.

(ii) The prior Taxicab Driver’s License expired because the Applicant failed to renew that license.

(iii) The Applicant applies for the Taxicab Driver’s License no later than two years after the expiration date of the prior Taxicab Driver’s License.

(iv) The Applicant meets all other requirements for obtaining a new Taxicab Driver’s License.

(v) The Applicant had no outstanding summonses, fines or suspensions when the Applicant’s prior Taxicab Driver’s License expired.

How do I comment on the proposed rules?

Anyone can comment on the proposed rules by:

  • Mail. You can mail written comments to the Taxi and Limousine Commission, Office of Legal Affairs, 33 Beaver Street – 22nd Floor, New York, New York 10004.

  • Fax. You can fax written comments to the Taxi and Limousine Commission, Office of Legal Affairs, at 212-676-1102.

  • Email. You can email written comments to

  • Website. You can submit comments to the Taxi and Limousine Commission through the NYC rules Web site at

  • By Speaking at the Hearings. Anyone who wants to comment on the proposed rule at the public hearing must sign up to speak. You can sign up before the hearing by calling 212-676-1135. You can also sign up in the hearing room before the session begins on June 19, 2014. You can speak for up to three minutes.

Is there a deadline to submit written comments?

Yes, you must submit written comments by June 16, 2014.

Do you need assistance to participate in the Hearings?

You must tell the Office of Legal Affairs if you need a reasonable accommodation of a disability at the Hearing. You must tell us if you need a sign language interpreter. You can tell us by mail at the address given above. You may also tell us by telephone at 212-676-1135. You must tell us by Thursday, June 12, 2014.

Can I review the comments made on the proposed rules?

A few days after the hearing, a transcript of the hearing and copies of the written comments will be available to the public at the Office of Legal Affairs.

What authorizes the Commission to make this rule?

Sections 1043 and 2303 of the City Charter and section 19-503 of the City Administrative Code authorize the Commission to make this proposed rule. This proposed rule was not included in the Commission’s regulatory agenda for this Fiscal Year because the need for it was not contemplated when the Commission published the agenda.

Where can I find the Commission’s rules?

The Commission’s rules are in title 35 of the Rules of the City of New York.

What rules govern the rulemaking process?

The Commission must meet the requirements of Section 1043 of the City Charter when creating or changing rules. This notice is made according to the requirements of Section 1043(b) of the City Charter.




© 2014 TLC Magazine Online, Inc.