New York City Council Vote is Today

Today, the Independent Drivers Guild is calling on New York City Council Members to vote to end the unfair practice of double ticketing for-hire vehicle drivers for the same violation. The Committee on Governmental Operations, Chaired by Fernando Cabrera, will be holding a hearing to vote on Intro 748-A and if passed, the bill is likely to go to the full City Council for a vote in the stated meeting at 1:30pm today.

Currently, drivers for apps like Uber and Lyft are being ticketed and fined by DOT for a violation, paying to fight or settle that ticket, and then months later they are ticketed again for the same exact violation by the Taxi and Limousine Commission. The Independent Drivers Guild has lobbied to end this unfair practice that is harming drivers who already face exorbitant fees and expenses. Intro 748-A requires judges and hearing officers to dismiss a duplicate notice of violation.

“Double ticketing for-hire vehicle drivers for the same violation is blatantly unfair. One department of the city cannot be allowed to fine a driver again after another department has already adjudicated or reached a settlement for the same alleged violation,” said Jim Conigliaro, founder of the Independent Drivers Guild. “Double ticketing is a scam that targets those who can least afford it and we are pleased to see the City Council take up a vote to right this wrong. We urge passage of Intro 748-A.”

The city’s official summary of Intro 748-A is as follows:

This bill would establish certain procedural requirements in relation to violations of New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) laws or regulations adjudicated by the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH). The bill would require that a TLC representative would be required to be present at hearings, either in person or remotely; that a respondent could appear remotely, through internet video; that OATH could reduce a violation, if it finds doing so to be in the interests of justice, subject to a review by TLC; that any duplicate notice of violation should be automatically dismissed and, finally, it would establish hearing timeliness requirements to facilitate prompt adjudication of violations.

The Independent Drivers Guild has also opposed a new New York State congestion tax on for-hire vehicles that will take effect in January and raise the average per trip tax to $5 per trip on app-based vehicles like Uber and Lyft with trips that enter Manhattan below 96th St. The same $20 fare would be taxed at a little over $3 per trip in taxis. See the IDG’s analysis of that upcoming tax here. The Guild has called for state legislators to repeal and replace that unfair tax.

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