STOP ILLEGAL STREET HAILS
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MTBOT Board Members:
I hope you are enjoying your summer with family and friends. I wanted to provide you with an update as we
enter the fall season.
As you know, MTBOT has long advocated for increased illegal street hail enforcement. In the Spring of 2016,
we were successful in getting the City Council to pass legislation that sharply increases fines against
illegal street hail activity. And we have been working closely with the TLC to increase their efforts to
enforce the law against illegal activity. Some progress has been made, namely the TLC’s pursuit of civil
forfeiture, coordination with the DMV to strip drivers of their licenses following illegal street hail
activity and targeted sting operations with the NYPD.
However, as we all can see with our own eyes, these efforts are just not enough. Illegal street hail activity is as
bad as it has ever been. We cannot rely on TLC street enforcement alone to protect the yellow taxi
driver’s legal and exclusive right to pick up street hails. Until now, we have had little choice.
So in addition to continuing all our efforts at all levels of government, in the media and elsewhere, we are
announcing the latest initiative of the highly successful MTBOT Driver Resource Center - the Illegal
Street Hail Initiative.The Center, which has been providing free legal assistance, free required
courses and key advocacy services for MTBOT drivers for nearly a year now, interacts with thousands of
drivers. Many of these drivers – as well as our members – have asked what they can do help
enforcement. To date we have been recording hot bed illegal street hail activity and forwarding it to the TLC
as well as pressing TLC ground enforcement to enforce, enforce, enforce. We have worked with the press
as well to highlight illegal activities and disparities with for hire vehicle enforcement and
Now, with the Center up and running and very successful, we are adding another layer
of service that we hope will make a major dent in illegal street hail activity.
We are launching the new illegal Street Hail Enforcement Initiative which will empower drivers and
taxi industry professionals to have their observations on the street logged, filed and formally heard with the
intention of sending a clear message that illegal street hails are NOT a cost of doing business. This
is illegal behavior that results in stolen fares and is worthy of the swift and immediate attention of the
TLC and we are demanding action.
The Center has staff on hand to handle these complaints. We will be setting up phone hearings at our
headquarters for any driver who wishes to make a complaint based on illegal street hail behavior he witnesses
on the street. We will work with drivers to ensure that complaints are valid and have a likelihood of
success at hearing. We have already discussed our initiative with the TLC and we are ready to launch.
We have created a simple form (attached)
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to distribute to drivers and that the MTBOT Driver Resource Center will distribute to drivers.
MTBOT fleets, drivers and resource center staff will be the “eyes and ears” of the taxicab industry to identify
and report instances of illegal for-hire activity. We will focus a great deal of effort in promoting
the use of this simple form, coordinating the communication and hearing proceedings with the
TLC and following up on our progress.
We believe that we will be successful in raising awareness of the illegal street hail epidemic and get action.
We will not stop here. We will continue to advocate for illegal street hail enforcement everywhere and
plan to embark on a new campaign to inform New Yorkers, community boards, elected officials and the
media to the very real consequences of illegal street hails for all New Yorkers including insurance
issues, public safety and other concerns that impact real people and real communities.
Stay tuned - but meanwhile please distribute the attached form to your drivers and inform them of this method
to enforce against illegal street hail activity. All they need to do is jot down illegal street hail behavior as
specifically as possible, fill out the form, send to the MTBOT Driver Resource Center and let us
handle the rest. Together, with all hands on deck we can make the difference.
Ron              DOWNLOAD AND PRINT PDF
Note from MTBOT:
We are going to have the information sheet printed on stock paper cards for the drivers to use.
We would prefer those to be returned to us (or the garage) or mailed in. The email is designed primarily for photos and documents.