Recently, Council Member Jumaane D. Williams (D-Brooklyn) and Council Member I. Daneek Miller (D-Queens) introduced legislation that would close a loophole and allow for the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission to regulate large for-hire vehicles and commuter vans.
This legislation, Intro 925, would amend the definition of “for-hire vehicle” to include vehicles that seat more than 20 passengers for the purposes of the enforcement authority of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC). This bill would also amend the definition of “commuter van” to make explicit that, for enforcement purposes, the definition of “commuter van” also includes vehicles that seat more than 20 passengers.
Previously, the law had only permitted TLC to regulate vehicles up to 20 seats, allowing some operators to circumvent necessary regulations and licensing processes by adding more capacity to their vehicles. This loophole disad
vantaged law-abiding businesses operating in good faith and providing a vital service to communities where public transportation is not expansive.
By skirting TLC enforcement, these large vehicles present a danger to the public as unsafe, unlicensed, unregulated vehicles on the streets of New York City. Expanding TLC’s authority through this legislation will force compliance with all existing regulations to the commuter van industry.
In 2017, Council Members Williams and Miller worked together to pass the Commuter Van Safety Act. This package of three bills was aimed at facilitating legal and legitimate commuter van operations which increasing enforcement against bad actors. The act consisted of Intro 570, Intro 860-A, and Intro 861-A, and removed unnecessary burdens from industry operations while cracking down on dangerous and illegitimate operations, increasing penalties for violations.