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Monday, March 17, 2008

Monday We Are In The News: NYC TAXI GPS LAWSUIT WITHDRAWN

NEW YORK CITY -- The New York City Law Department announced today that
the plaintiffs seeking to stop the Taxi and Limousine Commission's
(TLC) program of taxi technology service improvements, including GPS
equipment, have withdrawn their lawsuit. The suit, brought last
September, sought to prevent the program from going forward as
scheduled. But the court, the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of New York, rejected the plaintiffs' request last September
to grant a preliminary injunction, finding that plaintiffs had failed
to demonstrate that they were likely to succeed on any of their
claims. Today, the Court signed off on a legal stipulation ending the
lawsuit.

The lawsuit had challenged the innovative program initiated by the TLC
to provide improved technology in taxicabs that enabled passengers to
pay by credit card, to monitor travel on video screens, and to provide
automated trip records through GPS equipment. The service enhancement
program has been in effect since October 2007, and is viewed by both
the TLC and the public as a success.

The plaintiffs, including the New York Taxi Workers Alliance,
continued to press their claims after their initial loss in court on
the preliminary injunction issue. However, after several months of
successful operation of the program, they agreed to withdraw their
complaint "with prejudice," meaning they cannot bring the suit again.
As noted, the Court today approved the agreement of discontinuance of
this litigation, in which it is agreed that the TLC will continue its
enforcement of its rules and regulations, including the requirements
for the GPS technology and customer service improvements.

"Just as taxi riders have embraced the conveniences of the new
technology, taxi drivers are now likewise seeing the benefits of the
systems in their own lives. Drivers are earning more money in tips on
credit card rides, and this payment option is growing more popular
every day," said TLC Commissioner/Chairman Matthew W. Daus. "It is
particularly gratifying that this comes within days of our having
achieved the milestone of seeing the 10 thousandth taxicab equipped
with the new systems and this victory will speed us on to see this
already successful project continue toward the goal of equipping every
taxicab in the city."

Paula Van Meter of the Law Department's Administrative Law Division
led the legal team, with input from Division Chief Gabriel Taussig.
"This is a complete victory for the City, and it will allow all taxi
passengers to enjoy the benefits of these service improvements,"
Taussig noted.

The New York City Law Department is one of the oldest, largest and
most dynamic law offices in the world, ranking among the top three
largest law offices in New York City and the top three largest public
law offices in the country. Tracing its roots back to the 1600's, the
Department has an active caseload of 90 thousand matters and
transactions in 17 legal divisions. The Corporation Counsel heads the
Law Department and acts as legal counsel for the Mayor, elected
officials, the City and all its agencies. The Department's 650-plus
attorneys represent the City on a vast array of civil litigation,
legislative and legal issues and in the criminal prosecution of
juveniles.
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