NYC TLC Repeals Mandatory Black Car Retirement Age
The New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission voted in April to repeal mandatory vehicle retirement ages for Black Cars. The retirement ages will be phased out over a seven year period.
The mandatory vehicle retirement rule was first implemented in 2009, with the consent of the Black Car industry. At the time, the Bloomberg Administration and the City’s banking and finance industries had pledged to provide preferred financing for drivers purchasing new vehicles. Shortly thereafter, the US economy was hit by The Great Recession and the financing program was never initiated. While the prior TLC Administration delayed implementation of the mandatory vehicle retirement rule, it was never eliminated.
Chairwoman/Commissioner Meera Joshi and other Commissioners noted that there are no safety concerns, since the vehicles still need to pass three annual inspections. It was also mentioned that the industry is essentially self-regulated because clients dictate the vehicles that they want.
This is very important for the Black Car industry, said Berj Haroutunian, President of the Black Car Assistance Corp. We have been advocating for this with the TLC for several years. Black Car bases are losing drivers on a weekly basis to other industries because they cannot afford to replace their vehicles. We are pleased that Chairwoman Joshi and the Commissioners acknowledged that Black Car drivers are small business people and are hurting financially.
I want to thank Chairwoman Joshi for tackling this issue head-on at time when the TLC has more than a full plate of issues to deal with. added Ira Goldstein, Executive Director, Black Car Assistance Corp. It is consistent with other decisions the Board has recently made, giving drivers more options. Now, if drivers that currently work in the Black Car industry want to continue working for their preferred base but were going to be forced out because of the age of their vehicles they can stay with their base.
The BCAC will be distributing further details to its members on the implementation of the new rules.