Tuesday, July 19, 2016

New York City's New Taxi 12 Hour Shift Rule Changes Nothing.

You can file New York City's new 12 hour shift rule for taxis, black cars, Ubers, etc. under "much ado about nothing" or "taxi bullshit " if The New York Times report is accurate.

You've got to read the whole article, exercise critical thinking and ask questions, but if you do you'll understand that the new 12 hour shift limit as reported by The New York Times, set to take effect on November first changes nothing. Read deeper and you'll understand that it's a public relations oriented response to a public relations disaster.

They've had a twelve hour shift rule on the books since the twelfth of never and it never had any meaning. But last November a taxi driver who had been on the road for sixteen hours managed to kill an 88 year old pedestrian on what was probably a slow news day. Something had to be done.

The old twelve hour rule was a joke with no definition of the amount of time that had to elapse between drivers' shifts. There never ever was a penalty levied against any driver, dispatcher or taxi owner for violating the rule. Had there been one, ever, the offender would have been set back a whole twenty-five bucks with no points against his hack license. It was a rule that no one ever had intended to have meaning, at least not since the days of old school New Deal Democratic governance of the city.

The Loophole

The new rule stipulates that hours a driver spends actually transporting passengers are what's going to count, as per The New York Times. Since drivers typically spend hours searching for passengers, waiting in airport holding lots, hotel lines and informal taxi lines outside of bars and nightclubs in the early morning hours, as well as on meal breaks and personal necessity breaks it's a safe bet the new rule will change nothing on the road, though it will probably fool the public into believing that something has been done about dangerously drowsy cabbies.

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