NEW YORK, NY – On Wednesday October 31st at City Hall, the New York City Council passed legislation aimed at closing a loophole which allowed large vans to circumvent the law.
The bill, Intro 925-A, amends 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 also amends the definition of “commuter van” so “commuter van” now includes vehicles that seat more than 20 passengers. Under the previous law, TLC was only permitted to regulate vehicles containing up to 20 seats, allowing some operators to circumvent present regulations. Passing this legislation on October 31, 2018 will help to ensure that all drivers are made to adhere to existing safety regulations.
“Commuter vans provide a vital service to communities in my district and around the city, where transit deserts are created by the lack of public transportation options,” said Council Member Jumaane D. Williams. “I’ve been proud to support these services throughout my career, creating a path for commuter van businesses to operate legally, with a license and insurance. I would encourage drivers to take that path in order to expand successful commuter van operations. When bad actors circumvent those laws with unsafe, larger vehicles, they hurt the industry and the public they serve. This will close a loophole and help further the success of commuter vans in our communities. I thank the Speaker and my colleagues for their support as we pass this important legislation.”
“The passage of Intro 925-A is significant and positive step in the right direction in curbing the proliferation of unlicensed commuter vans with seating capacity in excess of 20,” said Hector Ricketts, President of the Commuter Van Association of New York. “Upon signing into law by Mayor de Blasio, the TLC will have the authority to enforce against these operators who have been circumventing the system and endangering the public.