José Viloria


he month of December arrived and with this, the year 2017 is full of ups and downs for our industry where the main ingredient is the complaints of taxi drivers that they are over regulated by the state and the city.

In this regard, I believe that as an industry, we must be more jealous about the actions of some of our people who, although they are a minority, damage us all, as we strengthen leadership, acting and supporting good behavior, our frustrations will be dissipated, and the abuses that are committed against us could be more remarkable because we probably would not be so divided.

The insecurity grew during this year that ends due to the rise of criminality against ours, especially in the area of robberies that increased in a very worrying way.

But something that worries, both new and old, is how fast the new models of vehicles without driver shows up, where this year that is about to conclude has been crucial to impregnate in the minds of all that this new method of transportation could replace the traditional way, and the most worrisome is that both the public and politicians are willing to facilitate the entry of vehicles without a driver.

Toll booths saw in this year that a peaceful transition ends, which I would like to use as a tool to try to calm the fear of the changes that are constantly coming, I remember that originally only the yellows were forced by the TLC to use the EZPASS and then came the greens that ran the same fate, the Black Cars adopted it without being regulated by the TLC but the livery used them at their discretion, and I remember the multiple excuses used by those who did not believe in the benefits offered by this service, which finally is used in a “mandatory” manner by all drivers in New York and guess what, the lines at regular hours disappeared! and nobody has stopped driving.

Something that fell like a bomb in this year that ends was the introduction of a project by TLC that each taxi base must produce 25% of the transport they offer in vehicles adapted for the use of wheelchairs.

Proposal this one, that obtained that traditionally antagonistic groups were united to add force against a measurement that evidently would destabilize the industry.

I have to be honest, traditionally I try to look for conciliation before calling demonstrations, but this time I see no other solution to a problem that our authorities have created and have shown that they do not intend to negotiate anything, but to impose a method of work that evidently has been the worst legacy of the year that is about to end, if we do not publicly expose our concerns what could happen is that the affected community, which are people with disabilities, could interpret that the taxi industry is opposed to offer adequate transportation.

Hopefully this 25% issue will be solved before the end of 2017 to bring tranquility to our industry. u

—José Viloria is an advisor to the Federation of Taxi
Drivers and CEO of the
bilingual newspaper
‘NY Taxi Voice’