At the same time that an agency is created to monitor financial stability within the Taxi and Limousine Commission, the new laws aim to improve oversight of that industry.
The taxi industry in the Big Apple has been hit hard by speculators. FERNANDO MARTÍNEZ
Fernando Martínez / Impremedia
He New York City Council approved this Thursday a legislative package to increase protections for the taxi drivers and improve the supervision of this industry which, before the coronavirus pandemic, had been hit by the decrease in income and value of medallions.
The three bills approved had previously been favorably debated by the Transportation Committee and would enter into force 120 days after being promulgated into law.
The first measure, sponsored by the councilor Ritchie J. Torres from The Bronx, create the Financial Stability Office within the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC), which will be responsible for monitoring and evaluating the financial stability of the industry. The entity is intended to provide greater oversight to this industry and combat predatory lending practices.
“We cannot afford TLC auctioned medallions at exorbitant prices or approve medallion transfers with speculative loans. We must ensure that taxi drivers are not drawn into another financial crisis caused by the locket bubble and predatory lenders, ”Torres said.
No more suffering for taxi drivers
The second piece of legislation, presented by the councilor Adrienne E. Adams, would require annual financial disclosures from anyone interested in a taxi license.
This bill would help combat problems resulting from the lack of information collected on the financial status of owners, brokers, and agents authorized by TLC.
“Unfortunately, taxi drivers were sold the american dream not only did it not materialize, but it also placed them in serious financial debt, “said the councilor.
The councilor representing Queens He added that taxi drivers desperately need help and the passed legislation will be a step towards transparency and an end to predatory behavior.
“As a city, we must do everything possible to end the suffering of taxi driversAdams insisted.
In recent months, New York taxi drivers have denounced through marches and demonstrations, the severity of the economic crisis they suffer. The accumulated debt and the inability to make payments to his creditors, even led to the suicide at least 8 New York taxi drivers. After the bankruptcy of the sector was made public, it was revealed that the vast majority have been victims of predatory lenders.
Integrity of agency brokers will be verified
The third initiative for the rescue of the taxi industry was sponsored by the Councilor Ydanis Rodríguez, of Upper Manhattan, would require TLC to evaluate the character, honesty, and integrity of taxi agency brokers, agents and licensees when applying for a license or when submitting an application to renew an existing license.
According to Rodríguez, that chairs the Council Transportation Committee, the TLC would be authorized to refuse to issue or renew a license if it is determined that an applicant lacks good character, honesty and integrity.
“This law will add much-needed protections for taxi drivers. We saw what happened when taxi agency brokers, and taxi licensees were left to their sole discretion. They took advantage of vulnerable and mostly immigrant New Yorkers who were trying to earn an honest living, ”said Rodriguez,
The commission would consider, among other factors, misstatements or misrepresentations in connection with a request and commission of fraudulent, deceptive or illegal acts while engaged in business authorized by the commission.