The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC), with the invaluable assistance of NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and NYC Media, today launched a public service announcement (PSA) to highlight the issue of service refusal by drivers of both yellow medallion taxicabs and Street Hail Liveries (green “Boro Cabs”, or SHLs).  The PSA will be seen and heard throughout the city’s fleet of more than 20,000 yellow and green cabs, and will also be available through the TLC’s web site and on the agency’s YouTube channel.  Speaker Mark Viverito provided voiceover narration for the PSA.

The goal of the PSA is to raise awareness of passengers’ rights with respect to service refusal, and it visually portrays examples of certain refusal types, while encouraging viewers to report any instances of service refusal they may experience.  New York City law provides that medallion taxicabs and Boro Cabs must transport ALL passengers to any mandatory destinations.  For yellow cabs, that is within the five boroughs, Nassau and Westchester Counties, or the three regional airports.  For Boro Cabs, the areas in Manhattan south of East 96th Street and West 110th Street, or JFK or LGA airports, are excluded for street hail service, but they, too, must transport passengers to all mandatory taxi destinations as described above.

“Taxi service is for all New Yorkers,” said TLC Commissioner and Chair Meera Joshi.  “There are few violations more viscerally hurtful and offensive than service refusal.  This PSA will highlight the issue by showing what a refusal looks like and encouraging people to report it so that we can take action.  I would like to thank NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for giving voice to this important effort.  Thanks also to Council Member Jumaane Williams, for his strong advocacy on this issue.”

“Every borough, neighborhood, and community in our great city has something unique to offer,” said Council Speaker Mark Viverito, “and taxis should always be ready to help take you there.  We want to remind all passengers that drivers cannot refuse fares based destination - and if they do, to report the incident to 311.  Taxis are one of the best ways to experience the Big Apple, and I thank the Taxi and Limousine Commission for its efforts to ensure that New Yorkers can rely on taxis for transport to any zip code in New York City.”

“In order to ensure taxi and for-hire drivers provide the services required, we must first make sure that citizens know their rights,” said City Council Transportation Committee Chair Ydanis Rodriguez.  “With this PSA, we will educate every New Yorker of the protections the City has given them and give them the mechanism to report violations.  With more New Yorkers reporting violations, drivers will think twice before they refuse a passenger because of their race gender or ethnicity.”

After demonstrating several service refusal experiences, the PSA concludes with a description of the different methods for contacting 311 and the vital information necessary to file a complaint.  Once a refusal complaint is filed with 311, the TLC investigates and, using data collected via the vehicle’s GPS-enabled technology systems, determines if the driver’s actions were in fact a service refusal.
 
To view the Passenger Refusal PSA, visit www.nyc.gov/taxi, or more directly at http://youtu.be/NwNhZOEJRXY

About the NYC TLC:
The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) was created in 1971, and is the agency responsible for the regulation and licensing of over 200,000 yellow medallion taxicabs and for-hire vehicles, their drivers, and the businesses that operate and support their industries.  It is recognized as the largest and most active taxi and limousine regulatory body in the United States.

To find out more about the TLC, or to review its rules and procedures, we encourage you to visit our official Web site at www.nyc.gov/taxi or contact 311/311 Online

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