• The date and time for the proposal submission was amended to May 27, 2010 by 2010 EDT.

In addition, the proposal format was amended to read:

6. Presenting Images for Public Viewing

Each proposer should include in the proposal a minimum of one interior view and one exterior view sketch or concept drawing (not photograph), suitable for public distribution or viewing and likely to encourage public interest in the vehicle as well as encourage greater knowledge of the vehicle concept. The images should be of the first vehicle they intend to deliver during the term of the contract. These images must be suitable for reproduction and may be submitted in digital format. If digital format is used, we ask that they be a 24 bit ]PEG or TIFF flie circa 2000 by 3000 pixels in size each.

A proposer may opt to include other images in the proposal; but should clearly designate the images that are for public viewing. All other tmages will be viewed by proposal evaluators only.

Images submitted for public viewing may be distributed or publicized by the City either online or by other means in order to solicit opinions or feedback from the general public on the proposer's vehicle and any such images submitted become the property of the City of New York and may be used at the City's discretion. If the images are distributed for public viewing, the names of the designers will not be shared. The public's opinion of the vehicle's design or iconic content mayor may not be taken into consideration by the evaluation committee.

The proposals were submitted to:

New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services
Division of Municipal Supply Services
ATTN: Taxi of Tomorrow - PIN #85701000514
1 Centre Street, 18th Floor Bid Room
New York, NY 10007

E-mailed or faxed proposals were not accepted.

David Klahr
Special Advisor to the Commissioner/Chair
NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission
40 Rector Street, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10006
(212) 676-1033 Office
(212) 676-1153 Fax



All NYC Taxis have been Outfitted with an Alert to Inform Passengers when Out-of-Town Rate has been Activated TLC will Perform Regular Checks to Identify any Future Overcharges

New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) Commissioner and Chair David Yassky announced the completed review of data resulting from its discovery that certain taxicab drivers were using an out of town rate code while within the New York City limits. Based on the TLC’s completed analysis 21,819 taxicab drivers overcharged passengers a total of 286,000 times out of 361 million total trips during that time period for a total estimated overcharge of almost $1.1 million. The TLC believes that most of the drivers, 13,315 out of the 21,819 drivers, engaged in overcharging just one or two times, but the TLC expects to be able to prove that some drivers engaged in 1,000 or more overcharges.

Commissioner Yassky also announced that the TLC will be working closely with the taxicab industry to implement training measures to assist incoming, newly licensed drivers in better understanding taximeter operation.

“The TLC has completed its review of the data as we had committed to do,” said Commissioner Yassky. “The data suggests that only a fraction of a percent of rides were overcharged and the majority of our taxi drivers do a great job exhibiting the integrity that we expect and demand of our licensees. It also revealed, however, evidence that we believe will show that a significant number of drivers used ‘Rate Code 4’ as a means of surreptitiously padding their pockets and taking advantage of a trusting public, and we will be taking appropriate actions to see that these drivers do not again have the opportunity to betray their passengers and their fellow drivers.”


The taximeter setting known as “Rate Code 4” doubles the regular rate of fare during the portion of taxi trips that take place in Westchester or Nassau Counties. If Rate Code 4 is activated while the taxi is within New York City limits the passenger would be overcharged. Using conservative methods, TLC has identified approximately 286,000 trips where the data shows overcharges occurred.

Based on these conservative methods 21,819 individual drivers conducted at least one of these overcharge trips. However, more than half of these drivers - 13,315 - conducted only one or two overcharge trips.

# of Overcharged Trips # of Drivers
1 to 2 13,315
3 to 9 6,200
10 to 49 1,671
50 to 499 545
500+ 88
Total # of drivers 21,819
Total # of trips 286,000
Total overcharge $1,100,000.00


Enforcement Actions

The TLC is in the process of initiating license revocation proceedings against taxicab drivers who were identified with 50 or more overcharges. Drivers with evidence of between 10 and 49 overcharges will have the option to surrender their TLC license or face fines ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. Drivers with less than 10 overcharges will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

Cases will be filed at the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH). For those cases that go to hearings the TLC will present evidence of overcharges, and the driver, who will have an opportunity to be represented by counsel or a non-attorney representative, will present his/her own evidence and witnesses. The TLC expects that drivers with fewer overcharge trips will be offered a settlement option of paying significant fines.

The TLC encourages any passenger who believes he or she may have had a “Rate Code 4” overcharge trip to call 311 to report the violation. TLC will confirm if the trip was overcharged and seek possible reimbursement.

The TLC referred the issue to the New York City Department of Investigation which is investigating the matter with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office with an eye toward potential criminal charges for the most egregious offenders.

Data Analysis Methodology

As part of its review, the TLC looked into the mechanics of operating taximeters, and determined the potential for a driver to push the Rate Code 4 button at the end of a trip while intending to push the “end of trip” button. In that scenario the driver would presumably recognize and correct the error immediately, because the meter would not end the trip and print a receipt. Therefore, the driver would immediately push the end-of-trip button resulting in no overcharge. As a result, the TLC has identified two methods for screening out trips that might have been such errors – identifying the instances where Rate Code 4 was activated, but the passenger was not overcharged.

  • Time-Stamping: A third of the available data includes a time stamping of the Rate Code 4 activation. TLC screened out trips where the time stamp indicates that Rate Code 4 was activated for less than 20% of total trip time.

  • Maximum Fare Calculation: Two thirds of the available data have no time stamp available. Using data from the taxi technology systems in each taxicab TLC captured the distance traveled and time elapsed during each trip where Rate Code 4 was activated while the taxi was in New York City. TLC calculated the maximum possible fare by adding 40 cents per minute using an assumption that the cab was sitting in traffic for the entire trip, plus 40 cents per 1/5 mile traveled assuming that the cab was moving above 12 miles per hour for the entire trip. At any given moment a taxicab is either in traffic and thus accruing “time” charges or, moving and thus accruing “distance” charges. So an actual fare will always be less than the maximum fare as long as the proper rate is applied.

Using both the abovementioned methods the TLC has determined the existence of 286,000 overcharge trips.

Overcharge Prevention

The TLC will regularly scan the universe of taxi trip data to look for any activation of Rate Code 4 within the city limits.

All New York City taxis have been equipped with Rate Code 4 passenger alerts which inform the passenger, through the passenger information screen, that the out of town rate code has been activated. The alert is displayed on screen even if the screen had previously been turned off, and the passenger must disable the alert for the screen to return to normal programming or be turned off. TLC will continue to ensure the functionality of the alert systems through the inspection process. Every cab is inspected every four months.

TLC is exploring the development of building “geo-fencing” into taxi technology so the need for manual Rate Code 4 activation would be eliminated. Rate Code 4 would be automatically activated when a taxi crosses into Nassau or Westchester County.

Background on Available Data

Each taxicab is equipped with a taxi technology system device that records certain data about each trip.

The technology vendors’ contracts with the TLC require them to collect and transmit standard trip sheet data, including:

  • the driver’s license number;

  • the dates, times, and locations of each pick-up and drop-off;

  • the total fare charged including a breakdown between the “base fare,” surcharges for evening or rush hour travel, tolls, tips on credit card trips and method of payment;

  • the length of the trip, both in time and distance.

The contracts do not require the vendors to collect information on Rate Code 4 activations, but in response to TLC requests, two of the three vendors have been collecting at least some Rate Code 4 information. In upcoming contract renewal negotiations TLC will require that vendors are contractually obligated to transmit all taxi data to the TLC and the TLC will have all rights to the data and its dissemination.

CONTACT: Allan J. Fromberg – 212-676-1013

© 2014 TLC Magazine Online, Inc.