The New York City Council passed new legislation on October 31 closing a loophole that allowed large vans to get around a commuter law.
The recently passed bill, Intro 925-A, updated the definition of what counted as a “for-hire vehicle” which previously excluded vehicles that seated more than 20 passengers. Now, the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) is permitted to regulate these vehicles and ensure that drivers and companies follow the safety restrictions in place.
“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. “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.”
Before this bill was passed into law, vehicles with space for more than 20 passengers could not be regulated by the TLC. According to supporters of this bill, this allowed drivers and companies that owned the commuter vans to pursue unsafe actions without fear of prosecution.
“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.”