The familiar yellow medallion cabs. Taxicabs are defined
in City law as vehicles seating fewer than nine passengers (in addition to
the driver) and permitted to pick up street hails. They are the only vehicles
allowed by law to pick up street hails or pick up at taxi or airport stands.
Uniquely to New York, regulations prohibit taxicabs from pre-arranging
service through two-way radios. Taxicabs charge a metered fare. All
taxis are painted yellow. Each cab has a rooflight indicating
available for hire, hired, or off duty. The number of taxicabs, currently
12,187, is set by local law and rarely changed. Taxicab vehicle licenses
("medallions" in common parlance) are transferable and currently fetch well
over $200,000 in the market.
FOR-HIRE VEHICLE (FHV): Defined in
City law as a vehicle seating fewer than nine passengers (in addition to
the driver) and providing service after prior arrangement. Under local law,
FHVs are prohibited from picking up street hails, although many do so anyway.
For-hire vehicles are required to be affiliated with FHV bases, which
are responsible for handling any complaints about the drivers or vehicles.
They charge fares based on zone systems, by the hour or possibly by
the mile; they may not use meters. They also may not have rooflights
(except for FHVs based on Staten Island and primarily operating on Staten
Island). The FHV industry is segmented into car services, black
cars and limousines.
Services: The segment of the for-hire vehicle industry that primarily
serves local or neighborhood trips. They act much like taxicabs for
customers in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and portions of
Cars: A segment of the for-hire vehicle industry; primarily serves
business clientele with luxury cars (e.g., Lincoln Town Car). Under TLC rules,
black cars are defined as FHVs that operated from bases organized as either
a franchise or cooperative, and where at least 90% of customers pay by a
method other than cash.
|Limousines: A segment of the for-hire
vehicle industry generally using stretch vehicles. "Luxury limousines"
are defined in TLC rules as FHVs where passengers are charged on the basis
of garage to garage service, payment is by other than direct cash payment
by the customer, and at least $500,000/$1,000,000 insurance is carried.
|Base: A business that dispatches
for-hire vehicles, generally via two-way radio.