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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

City Council takes up livery cab passengers' bill of rights

Passengers of the city's 40,000 livery cabs are finally getting a bill of rights of their own.

The list of what riders are entitled to in a livery or black car will be posted in the passenger section, under a bill set to be passed Wednesday by the City Council.

The exact language is yet to be determined by the Taxi and Limousine Commission, but some of the rights include: displayed driver's license; a safe and courteous driver who obeys all traffic laws; clean air in the vehicle that is smoke and scent free; a preapproved fare quoted by the dispatcher, and the right to decline to tip.

"Today when you get into one of these cars, passengers truly have no idea what their rights are, if any," said chief sponsor, Councilman Daniel Garodnick (D-Manhattan).

Yellow cab passengers have had a similar bill of rights since 1996.

Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) said passengers who summon livery cars may not widely know that they can complain about lousy rides or fare disputes to the TLC.

Even so, Garodnick said about 1,000 complaints are filed each year by passengers of for-hire cars.

TLC Commissioner Matthew Daus said, "We look forward to supporting the legislation that we crafted together, and seeing that it is properly implemented once the mayor signs it into law."
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