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Taxi and Limousine Commission

News about the Taxi and Limousine Commission. Commentary and archival information about the Taxi and Limousine Commission from The New York Times.
Taxi Occupational License Currently Named Taxi For-hire License or Taxi medallion Shall Not Convert Into Financial Security.  Self-employed cab drivers are entitled to get an occupational license for their businesses like all other self employed people.
 
Occupational license gives someone the right to use a specific space or a motor vehicle or a water craft or an aircraft or a train to do business.  Therefore, with respect to the equal protection clause of the fourteenth amendment and the antitrust law, taxi occupational license commonly known as taxi for-hire license or taxi medallion shall not convert into  financial security.
 
If the taxi occupational license holders wish to leave an asset for their heirs, they should make a legal investment. For example, there are life insurance and variable life insurance, whole life insurance and variable whole life insurance, universal life insurance and variable universal life insurance, annuity and variable annuity, IRA, real estate investment, corporate bonds, treasury bonds, municipality bonds, government bonds and supranational bonds, money market, notes, banknotes, debentures, common stocks, mutual funds; derivative contracts such as options, futures, swaps, forwards; New York Stock exchange, Chicago Mercantile exchange, NASDAQ, S&P 500, etc.
 
Taxi occupational license known as taxi for-hire license or taxi medallion gives a cab driver the right to use a motor vehicle in order to carry people and goods for compensation.  Consequently, it is unconstitutional if a State or a jurisdiction tried to convert this license into a financial security.  Licensing is a privilege and the right to have one belongs first to those who qualify or legally practicing in a specific field.
 
Therefore, New York City style taxi medallion system that we see in some jurisdictions is wrong, illegal and unconstitutional.  Like all other kind of occupational licenses, taxi medallion should not have any monetary value.  SEC "Securities and Exchange Commission" should step in to deregulate and eliminate New York City Style Taxi Medallion System.
 
49 USCS § 13102 (22) Taxicab service.
 
The term “taxicab service” means passenger transportation in a motor
vehicle having a capacity of not more than 8 passengers (including the driver), not operated on a regular route or between specified places, and that—
(A) is licensed as a taxicab by a State or a local jurisdiction; or
(B) is offered by a person that—
(i) provides local transportation for a fare determined (except with respect to
transportation to or from airports) primarily on the basis of the distance traveled;
and
(ii) does not primarily provide transportation to or from airports.
 
First, United States Code 49 Section 13102 Subsection (22) did not require a taxi medallion "New York City Style" in order to use a motor vehicle as a Taxi-cab. 
 
Second, occupational license was not included and is not a part of the United States Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  It will never be because it will violate the antitrust law, 14th amendment of the United States constitution (Equal protection Clause), US and International labor law, the Bill of Rights and the Universal Declaration of human Rights of the United Nations. 
 
Third, the federal code, 49 USCS § 13102 (22) (A) clearly said: is licensed as a taxicab by a State or a local jurisdiction Not is medaled as a taxicab by a State or a local jurisdiction.
Therefore requiring a cab driver a taxi medallion in order to carry passengers and their luggage for compensation is a civil and constitutional right violations.  It is arbitrary, irrational and violates the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment of the United States constitution.
 
Fourth, the federal code, 49 USCS § 13102 (22) does not require a taxi meter inside the motor vehicle in order to provide taxi-cab service.
 
Fifth, the federal code, 49 USCS § 13102 (22) does not require a specific color like "yellow, blue, green, etc" in order to use a motor vehicle so as to provide taxi-cab service.
 
It is slavery, involuntary servitude, because cab drivers must work 10 hours, 12 hours, 15 hours to 20 hours a day in order to make ends meet and to keep driving the licensed vehicle.  Sometimes they have to spend three days on the road without retuning home.  It is a violation of the Fourteen and Thirteenth Amendment.  Also, the drivers usually have to drive unsafe and under equipped vehicles without child safety seats, putting pedestrian, passengers and their own life at risk.  State and local jurisdictions knew about it.  Unfortunately, they refused to solve those problems in order to protect the interests of taxi-cab companies and the taxi for-hire license holders.  Today, some jurisdiction want to do the same thing for limousine license.  
 
Because of government monopoly, several jurisdictions have corporate car, town car, gypsy cab, black car, blue taxi, restricted taxi, underserve taxi, green taxi, green cab, taxi vehicle, livery cab, speedy cab, car service, sedan service, transportation networking entity like Uber and Lyft, etc that are illegally providing taxi-cab service.  The worse thing is, some of those jurisdictions want to allow those vehicles to operate under a limousine license while providing taxi-cab service.  It is a violation of 49 USCS § 13102 (22) and the equal protection clause of our fourteenth amendment. 
 
Cab drivers have federal statutory rights.  The above forms of transportation do not have them.  Consequently, state and local government must comply with 49 USC § 13102 (22) .  They should find a peaceful way in order to eliminate all barriers of entry and legalize those vehicle that are illegally providing taxi-cab service in order that consumers can get a cheaper price and a more equipped vehicle.  The federal code is clear.  If you use a motor vehicle having a capacity of not more than 8 passengers (including the driver) and you are not operated on a regular route or between specified places, you are providing taxi-cab service.  The federal code did not say limousine service or other modes of transportation.
 

As stated in United States Code 49 USC §13101(D):  It is the policy of the United States Government to oversee the modes of transportation and to encourage the establishment and maintenance of reasonable rates for transportation, without unreasonable discrimination or unfair or destructive competitive practices.

 

In general, concerning the seating capacity of the vehicle and to prevent unfair or destructive competitive practices, where taxi-cab service passenger capacity ends is where limousine service should start with the addition of one passenger.  A taxi-cab is a motor vehicle with a capacity of no more than eight (8) passengers, including the driver. Limousine service is offered with a motor vehicle having a minimum seating capacity of nine (9) passengers, including the driver, and offers transportation arranged in advance by telephone, fax, electronic mail, or software application, but no street hailing.  Allowing both modes of transportation to use the same type of vehicles with the same seating capacity would  be unfair and/or destructive competitive practices, as well as a violation of Section 13101(1)(D) and 13102(22) of Title 49.

 

It is wrong, illegal and an equal protection violation to think that an eight passengers (including the driver) or less motor vehicle because it is a luxury vehicle, it should be licensed as limousine not as taxi-cab.   Licensing a motor vehicles having a capacity of not more than 8 passengers including the driver, not operated on a regular route or between specified places as a limousine or other mode of transportation is a violation of 49 USCS § 13102 (22). It does not matter how luxury is the vehicle. To prove that let’s go to Europe especially in Germany and England for a visit and you will see the mark of the motor vehicle they used in order to provide taxi-cab service. They are BMW, Mercedes Benz, Lamborghini, Porsche, etc.

 

 

The federal code is clear. If you use a motor vehicle having a capacity of not more than 8 passengers (including the driver) and you are not operated on a regular route or between specified places, you are providing taxi-cab service. The federal code did not say limousine service, sedan service, black car, car service, transportation networking service or other modes of transportation. Therefore, jurisdictions that create Sedan service, Luxury Sedan, Luxury limousine Sedan, Stretch limousine, black car, car service with a capacity of eight passengers including the driver violate 49 USC § 13102 (22) and Equal protection clause of the fourteenth amendment of the United States Constitution.

 
In order to encourage the establishment and maintenance of reasonable rates for transportation with reasonable and fair competitive practices, State and local jurisdictions should have the power to allow all of the following:


1.    Cab drivers within the same company and those from different companies to compete with each other on  prices and vehicles to use;
2.    Taxi-cab drivers to negotiate their meter rates (up to the upper limit) with their customers;
3.    Cab drivers to use their hack license number as the taxi occupational license number for the vehicle owned by the licensed taxi-cab driver.  However, taxi driver should not be able to  lease, rent or sell his/her occupational license; and
4.    For taxi-cab drivers who are issued such hack licenses, the right to pick up passengers county-wide within the county or counties where such drivers are permitted to transport passengers, and they should not be limited to particular geographical areas within the county or counties where such drivers are permitted to operate.

 

Also, State and local jurisdiction should not have the power to fix the meter rate.  This is price fixing by State and local government.  For exemple, in Miami, Florida, the meter rate is $2.40 a mile.  If seven (7) passengers want to take a cab round trip to the state of Georgia or Alabama or to a basket ball game between Miami Heat and Orlando Magic in Orlando, Florida at a different rate like $2.00 a mile or $1.50 a mile or $1.25 a mile, the driver cannot negotiate at a lower rate because of price fixing or fix meter rate imposed by the State and local jurisdiction.


This is discrimination because taxi drivers are self-employed and are not treated by states and local governments the same way they treat all other kinds of businesses and self-employed workers.  This is because cab drivers are first generation American citizens and almost all of them are black, Hispanic, middle eastern and minority. This discrimination is based on race and national origin. Consequently, we seek protection from the Department of Justice, SEC and OSHA (Occupational Safety Health Administration).
 
If government requires you to have a professional license in order to practice your profession, when you finished to get this professional license you will have two choices.  You can work for yourself or for someone else.  If you choose to work for yourself, you need an occupational license for your business before starting serving the public.  State or local jurisdiction will give you this occupational license right away.  This is the case of an attorney or a physician or a teacher, truck driver, after having his/her bar license, physician and teaching license, CDL license, except taxi-cab drivers.  If you are a cab driver in United States of America except Washington, DC and a few other jurisdictions you have to work as a slave for cab companies and the taxi medallion holders.  This is a violation of the cab drivers 14th and 13th amendment rights of the United States constitution (Equal protection clause).
 
Taxi-cab drivers are self-employed. An analogy would be that someone wants to open a business or a restaurant in a specific location, and after buying and installing all of the equipment, he or she applies to county or city governments in order to get an occupational license or permit. Local governments say, “No, we cannot give you occupational license or permit in order to sell food. There is a McDonalds, a Kentucky Fried Chicken and a Burger King Three to five blocks away from where you want to open your restaurant. They already have licenses or permits.  Go to see them, and if they wish, they will rent or lease you a space in order to sell your food under their license or permit.” This is the experience of most taxi-cab drivers in the United States of America. 
 
Consequently, we, the American people seek equal rights in the transportation industry. Deregulate taxi occupational license and the entire taxi-cab industry.  Deregulation will lower taxi-cab fares, increase competition, allow more economically disadvantaged individuals to ride taxi-cabs, change the social and economic situation of the cab drivers, create new jobs, increase interstate and intrastate tourists, bring better service to consumers, put better and more equipped eight passenger seat hybrid or clean fuel formula vehicles (49 USC Section 13102 (22) on the road with handicap accessibility, several child safety seats all in one for five years old and under, camera, GPS, credit card machine, computerized systems that are capable to record quickly each trip and fare, partition or bullet proof cabin for security and strong automatic lock in all doors in order to guarantee payment in risky areas.  
 
President Barack Obama has the power to issue an executive order so that cab drivers professional license number commonly known as hack license number could be used as for-hire license number of his/her vehicle in order to prevent too much taxi-cab on the road, create new jobs and guarantee the equal protection rights (14th amendment) of the cab drivers. 
 
On 2014, under the new health care system, cab drivers will be a liability for the federal government because their income are way below the federal poverty level.  Because of licensed vehicle lease or rent, cab drivers have to pay cab companies and taxi medallion holders $20,000.00 to $50,000.00 a year.  In addition, more than $5,000.00 were paid as city, county and state tolls and taxes.  The drivers usually have on average $10,000.00 to $20,000.00 as taxable income because of State and local government monopoly.
 
Congress should eliminate 49 USC Section 13506 (a) (2) and allow the Secretary and the Board to have Jurisdiction over a motor vehicle providing taxi-cab services due to the involvement of taxi-cab vehicles in interstate commerce; and U.S. constitution violations as well as antitrust problems caused by States and local governments.
 
The Secretary of Transportation should create a special department in order to monitor State and local governments as well as to handle complaints.  We need a Federal watcher in order to police taxi-cab industry nation-wide over safety (currently no child safety seats in any taxis), vehicle to use with a maximum mileage, equal protection right violation (14th amendment), civil right violation, human right violation, US and International labor right violation as well as antitrust law violation.
 
In conclusion, State and local governments should stop putting cab drivers under quota occupational license like Florida Statute 125.01 (1) (n).  Taxi occupational license known as taxi for-hire license or taxi medallion is a privilege and the right to own one is a human rights, civil rights and labor rights issue.  This right belongs first to legitimate taxi-cab drivers, not investors.
 
 
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