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TLC TIMES Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor Volume VI, Issue I Spring 2007 Matthew W. Daus, Commissioner/Chairman Goal for Green Taxis to Significantly R...

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TLC TIMES Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor

Volume VI, Issue I

Spring 2007

Matthew W. Daus, Commissioner/Chairman Goal for Green Taxis to Significantly Reduce Taxi Emissions

In This Issue: PlaNYC


Commissioner's Corner


Taxi ‘07


Driver Recognition Ceremony


Technology Update


TLC Times - Summer 2007

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg takes a symbolic turn at wheel of a hybrid taxicab. “Where to?” “A healthier tomorrow!”

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced on May 22, 2007 that as part of PlaNYC, the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) will implement new emissions and mileage standards for yellow taxicabs that will lead to a fully hybrid fleet by 2012 -- the largest, cleanest fleet of taxis on the planet. The new standards will be phased in over a four-year period and will reduce the carbon emissions of New York City's taxicab and for-hire vehicle fleet by 50% during the next decade, and will also save individual operators thousands of dollars in fuel costs over the lifespan of the vehicle. Internet giant Yahoo! was on hand to donate 10 hybrid taxicabs to fleet operator Team Systems in recognition of New York's leadership in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Mayor was joined at the announcement by TLC Commissioner Matthew W. Daus, Councilmember David Yassky, Yahoo! Network Division Vice President of Marketing Patrick Crane, American

Photo by Edward Reed

Lung Association President Louise Vetter, and other industry and regulatory leaders. "In PlaNYC, we set aggressive goals for the taxicab industry and today we're going to begin meeting those goals," said Mayor Bloomberg "Implementing tougher standards for the more than 13,000 taxis in this City will provide the same clean air benefits as removing 32,000 privately owned cars from our streets, which will significantly reduce the air pollution that causes childhood asthma. This will also decrease the fuel costs for taxi drivers, making this a win for the public and operators alike. I’d like to thank Yahoo! for their commitment to the environment and for recognizing our efforts in addressing global warming by donating these cabs."

O n Ea r t h D a y, M a yo r Bloomberg outlined PlaNYC, a series of 127 proposals aimed at helping New York meet the challenges of adding nearly one million people to the City's population between now and 2030, while at the same time reducing the City's greenhouse gas emissions by 30%. The Ford Crown Victoria, the current workhorse of the taxicab fleet, achieves only 14 miles per gallon (mpg). After October 2008, all new vehicles entering the fleet must achieve a minimum of 25 mpg (based on EPA city surface street ratings), and after October 2009, all new vehicles must achieve a minimum of 30 mpg. When fully implemented, the new standards are expected to reduce carbon emissions by more than 215,000 tons. Currently there are only 375 hybrid vehicles in the City's taxi fleet. By October 2008, the number of hybrids in the fleet will triple.

Commissioner Matthew Daus congratulates the leadership of the taxi industry for embracing Mayor Bloomberg’s vision.

Page 2

Commissioner’s Corner Not surprisingly, the news surrounding Mayor Michael R . Bloomberg’s announcement that every New York City by: Matthew W. Daus taxicab will be a hybrid by 2012 has circled the world more times than most travel writers. Just today, our Staten Island Commissioner Elias Arout remarked that he heard the hybrid initiative being discussed on a bus in Moscow. This was not surprising in and of itself since we knew the story was picked up in Pravda, but it truly serves to illustrate just how groundbreaking the news was. Just to recap a little, Mayor Bloomberg discussed PlaNYC’s

goals, quite appropriately, on Earth Day. The plan, which can be accessed and read in its entirety through, set forth initiatives including sales tax exemptions for clean air vehicles, the testing and introduction of anti-idling technology, strategic exemptions from the congestion pricing pilot, and the promotion of more efficient vehicles in the for-hire vehicle industry. The next step is to strategically plan the precise ways by which these goals will be achieved.

reach the goals set forth in PlaNYC for reducing carbon emissions and increasing air quality. This accelerated plan calls for the phase-in of progressive mileage standards culminating in the requirement that incoming taxicab vehicles achieve a minimum fuel efficiency of 30 miles per gallon as of October 2009. This would result in an all-hybrid taxicab fleet by 2012, and achieve the equivalent of removing 32,000 private automobiles from the streets of New York City.

As historic as the original announcement of PlaNYC was, not only for the TLC’s regulated industries, but for the cities, organizations and people who truly care about making this world a cleaner and better place to live in, on May 22, the landscape changed yet again. It was on that day that I joined Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in announcing the acceleration of plans to

I am proud to say that this announcement was shared with the leadership of the New York City taxicab industry, men and women who helm organizations representing virtually every facet of the industry – as well as several members of the TLC’s Board of Commissioners. Those who shared this event with us understood and embraced the Continued on Pg. 3

Taxi ‘07 And A “Brand” New Taxi Logo Photos courtesy of the Design Trust for Public Space

Following on the heels of “Designing the Taxi,” the TLC participated with the Design Trust for Public Space in “Taxi 07” -- a year-long visioning and design exercise involving leading designers and planners that culminated April with an ambitious New York International Auto Show exhibit at the Jacob Javits Center. Setting the stage for the exhibit’s collection of taxis from the future, the past, and the cinema was Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s designation of “Taxi Week in New York City.” TLC Commissioner/Chairman Matthew W. Daus presented the Mayoral proclamation, which was accepted by Design Trust Executive Director Deborah Marton (see accompanying photo). The TLC also took this perfect opportunity to unveil new markings that will be adorning New York City’s taxicabs in the near future, giving them a modern design twist with endless branding potential. The designs’ creative team from NYC & Company and TLC Commissioner Matthew Daus represented Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in presenting a commemorative procla- the world famous consumer product design firm mation to Design Trust Executive Director Deborah Marton. Smart Design were on hand to celebrate the unveiling, which elicited the anticipated ooohs and ahhhs! In recognition of the taxicab’s honored historic role, the Empire State Building paid tribute by bathing in a taxi yellow glow (see photo); even a heavy shroud of fog could not fully obscure the awe-inspiring sight. An upcoming episode of the PBS series “New York Voices” will acknowledge the taxi’s 100th birthday, as will a studio course on taxi design at Pratt Institute. Lastly, the Design Trust will publish a report entitled “The Road Forward”, created by a team of fellows in such disciplines as urban Despite a pea soup fog, the Empire State planning, economics, information design and trans- Building, bathed in a yellow glow in honor of portation, and which will outline possible strategies the New York City taxicab’s centennial, could to improve vehicles and service that are feasible be seen for many miles. and cost effective over a 10-year period.

TLC Times - Summer 2007

Page 3

Commissioner’s Corner Mayor’s vision of a day when New York City would boast the cleanest air in the nation and when children would no longer suffer from asthma as they do today. In brief, the plan provides that after October 2008, all new vehicles entering the fleet must achieve a minimum of 25 mpg (based on EPA city surface street ratings), and after October 2009, all new vehicles must achieve a minimum of 30 mpg. When fully implemented, the new standards are expected to reduce carbon emissions by more than 215,000 tons. The milestones below show how this plan will come together over the next few years, resulting in an all hybridfleet by October 2012. • October 2008 – 1,000 yellow hybrid taxicabs; • October 2009 – 4,000 yellow hybrid taxicabs (30% of the fleet); • October 2010 – 7,000 yellow hy-

Continued from Pg. 2

brid taxicabs (53% of the fleet); October 2011 – 10,000 yellow hybrid taxicabs (76% of the fleet); • October 2012 - all yellow taxicabs will be hybrid (100% of the fleet). For many who follow the mission and work of the TLC, its role is clearly significant and important to the City and our visitors. However, the TLC’s role is often viewed as being involved with enhancing customer service and ensuring the safety of its regulated industries, passengers, pedestrians and other motorists. But now, thanks to Mayor Bloomberg’s vision and leadership, the TLC – through its policies and regulations – will be taking on a more expansive role in helping our environment by introducing cleaner, more fuel-efficient taxicabs and forhire vehicles. We are excited about and welcome our new role in helping all New Yorkers, setting an example

for the rest of the world as we fulfill our obligation to help stem global warming, and protect our planet from the repercussions of climate change. Due to the TLC’s efforts over the last few years, New York City now has more hybrid taxicabs than any other United States City – but more needs to be done – more quickly. Our “environmental meter is ticking” and we need to move swiftly to our destination! I look forward to further developing and implementing this plan as expeditiously as possible - together with our regulated industries, our TLC Commissioners and the Mayor’s Office. I will keep everyone posted – every step of the way. You can take that promise to the bank – along with all of the “green” that drivers and owners will save by buying and using hybrid-electric vehicles as taxicabs and for-hire vehicles.

Driver Recognition Ceremony Enjoying the surrounding vista that could only be seen from Tishman Speyers’ fabulous Rooftop Garden at 620 Fifth Avenue, the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) celebrated its latest annual Driver Recognition Ceremony in grand style, overlooking historic Rockefeller Center. Taking the theme of “Unsung Heroes,” the common thread that tied this year’s honorees together were contributions that were not necessarily material for tabloid newspaper headlines and talk shows. What we honored was the fact that these individuals, by all accounts, did things that were truly extraordinary in terms of the lives they touched. Making the day extra special was a visit from guest emcee Ben Bailey, famed host of the Discovery Channel’s wildly popular show “Cash Cab” who kept guests laughing even while delivering a serious message about the contribution of taxicab drivers to our beloved city. Our Driver of the Year, Alande Nicolas, witnessed a car smashed and pushed up onto the sidewalk by a large truck at Riverside Drive and West 106th Street. The truck then fled the scene. Mr. Alande took down the truck’s license plate number, and followed it to West 135th Street, at which time he reported the incident to a police officer. He then returned to West 106th Street, where, with detective-like skills he tracked down the damaged vehicle’s owners to let them know what had happened and to give them all the details they would need — except, modestly, for his name. A married father of three, Mr. Nicolas was joined at the event by his eldest son, Christopher Nicholas, 24, who survived major cardiac health issues last year, and is today a thriving heart transplant recipient.

Famed comedian and “Cash Cab” host Ben Bailey paid homage to the day’s honorees.

Continued on Pg. 4

TLC Times - Summer 2007

Page 4 Digital Dispatch Systems

Technology Update

The TLC also set some important dates recently, requiring that all medallion/taxicab owners choose a vendor and have a contract in place no later than August 1, 2007. Following this, all taxicabs must have the technology enhancements systems in place no later than the date of their scheduled

vehicle inspection after October 1, 2007. In other words, if a vehicle’s pre-scheduled inspection is set for November 12, 2007, that’s the date by which it must cross the threshold into the 21st century! We’ve also beefed up the TLC’s web site to include a constantly updated Technology Enhancements section ( h t m l / t l c / h t m l / industrytaxicab_serv_enh.shtml) that will answer just about any question you may have about this unprecedented technology initiative!

TaxiTronic Creative Mobile Technologies

The TLC’s Technology Enhancement Project is moving full speed ahead, having passed a number of significant hurdles over the past few months. Most notably, all four designated technology vendors – VeriFone, Creative Mobile Technologies LLC, TaxiTech and Digital Dispatch – have been authorized to sign contracts, and install systems. The companies earned this authorization by undergoing a period of rigorous “beta” testing utilizing 200 equipped taxicabs. This testing period resulted in a number of remedial “tweaks” designed to bring these superior systems as close to perfect as technically possible!

Interested individuals may also sign up for automatic e-mail updates by clicking the invitation at the upper left hand side of the TLC web site home page ( taxi).

Driver Recognition Ceremony

Taxi Technology

Continued from Pg. 3

Commissioner Matthew Daus (at left) and Carole Post (at right) present Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s proclamation of “Driver Recognition Day 2007”

Our other principal honorees included Professionalism Award winner Jose Parra; Humanitarian Award winners Boris Kleyman and Paul Louis; 50-plus year cabbie and Lifetime Achievement Award winner Michael J. O’Sullivan; and Customer Care Award winner Mahji Graja.

As in years past, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg proclaimed March 29, 2007 “Drivers Recognition Day” citywide, in appreciation of all that our licensed taxicab and for-hire vehicle drivers do to keep New York City moving.“

TLC Times - Summer 2007

IATR Comes To NYC Taxi ‘07 presented an opportunity for fellow regulators and International Association of Transportation Regulators (IATR) members to visit the NYC TLC and compare notes and visit TLC facilities, even while getting a glimpse of the ambitious project’s vision of tomorrow. From left to right are IATR President and Mississauga Licensing Manager James Bisson, Ottowa Enforcement and Inspections Manager Linda Anderson, Mississauga Enforcement Director Elaine Buckstein, and San Francisco Taxi Commission President Paul Gillespie. Other visiting regulatory luminaries included Miami-Dade Taxi Administrator and IATR President-Elect Joe Mora, and Chicago Consumer Services Commissioner Norma Reyes, also a prominent IATR member. From left to right are IATR President and Mississauga Licensing Manager James Bisson, Ottowa Enforcement and Inspections Manager Linda Anderson, Missisauga Enforcement Director Elaine Buckstein, and San Francisco Taxi Commission President Paul Gillespie.