Hot enough? Oy!

We have had some of the worst air ever in New York, thanks to western wildfires and heatwaves, all related to climate change. The only thing that gets me hotter than summer in the city is when the TLC (Taxi Losing Culprits), also known as the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission, has no clue what to do, to get some of those 7,000 taxis that are not servicing the public back on the road.

Never has an NYC agency done less to enlist new or used yellow vehicles. Never has any TLC done less to accommodate the thousands of stranded travelers at JFK and LaGuardia airports waiting for yellow cabs. Never has a city agency buried their heads in the sand when it comes to enlisting new and re-enlisting seasoned drivers – particularly when the current atmosphere is one of exceptional driver income. Some drivers have told me their daily incomes are larger than they were pre-Uber.

With medallion prices only one-tenth of their “heyday price”, never has a TLC done so little to guide New Yorkers and other interested purchasers into small business ownership. Medallions are a HOT commodity right now!

Never in history has a TLC feared and avoided easy ways to educate themselves, like having the Chairwoman call into the NYC Taxi News podcast.

According to a friend who is still driving a yellow taxi, to service LaGuardia airport passengers, all fares from LaGuardia airport during peak hours, and when notices are sent to working drivers on their Driver Information Monitor that “LaGuardia has no yellow cabs and hundreds of waiting fares,” should be set at a minimum cost of $20. Currently, I am told that many fares from LaGuardia come to $8 or $9 – so the financial incentive is a necessity to better serve the public, the main function of what the TLC is supposed to do.

The sweat is dripping down my forehead now.

Currently, drivers in Queens near the 59th Street Bridge would rather drive into Manhattan than drive to LaGuardia Airport for a small fare. All this is going on while other passengers end up paying $80 from LaGuardia Airport into Manhattan because it is legal for Uber-type vehicles to rip-off passengers with “consumer-UNfriendly” surcharges. It should also be mentioned that some JFK surcharges on Uber-type vehicles charge $140 one-way, almost three times the current TLC-mandated yellow cab fare to JFK Airport.

Boy, I am sweltering.

Additionally, this malfunctioning excuse for a city agency issues similar penalties for cosmetic problems, as they do for serious safety issues, keeping yellow cabs off the road unnecessarily. Let me explain: When a yellow cab goes to get hacked-up (the very last step before servicing the public), any safety violations must be corrected… and rightfully so. However, I have learned about one current situation during when the driver was told to repaint an entire yellow taxi before they could serve the public because there was “a three-inch rubber mark above the wheel well”!

How do I know it was three inches? The owner literally measured it. Why not give that vehicle 10 days to correct the cosmetic violation or correct it by the next inspection and allow it to service the public? The current TLC has done a subpar job of educating inspectors on flexibility regarding minor cosmetic repairs.

My blood is boiling just waiting for the TLC to do something constructive here.

In conclusion, yellow cab daily income is at its highest level – possibly ever – and we have Uber-type vehicles ripping off the public at airports while the TLC does nothing to create a financial incentive for yellow drivers. We also have a lack of educating TLC inspectors, as they penalize drivers for minor safety violations, as if they were the same as serious ones. Medallion prices are extremely low, and income is extremely high, and we still have 7,000 medallions sitting in the offices of the NYC TLC, not servicing the public.

Help, I am melting!