New York City Council Header
File #: Int 2155-2020    Version: * Name: Requiring a universal mobile application to enable customers to electronically hail taxicabs and street hail livery vehicles.
Type: Introduction Status: Committee
Committee: Committee on Transportation
On agenda: 11/19/2020
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to requiring a universal mobile application to enable customers to electronically hail taxicabs and street hail livery vehicles
Sponsors: Ben Kallos, Ydanis A. Rodriguez
Council Member Sponsors: 2
Summary: This bill would require the Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) to develop an e-hail application which would allow customers to electronically hail a yellow taxicab or a green street hail vehicle. The application would be the only application used by yellow taxicab or green street hail drivers to accept electronic hails. The bill would require that the application be capable of allowing customers to electronically hail an accessible vehicle. The bill would also require the TLC to develop a program to allow third-party applications to submit electronic hail requests to drivers through the application.
Attachments: 1. Summary of Int. No. 2155, 2. Int. No. 2155, 3. November 19, 2020 - Stated Meeting Agenda with Links to Files, 4. Hearing Transcript - Stated Meeting 11-19-20, 5. Minutes of the Stated Meeting - November 19, 2020

Int. No. 2155

 

By Council Members Kallos and Rodriguez

 

A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to requiring a universal mobile application to enable customers to electronically hail taxicabs and street hail livery vehicles

 

Be it enacted by the Council as follows:

 

Section 1. Chapter 5 of title 19 of the administrative code of the city of New York is amended by adding a new section 19-555 to read as follows:

§ 19-555 E-hail mobile application. a. Definitions.  For the purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:

Accessible vehicle. The term “accessible vehicle” means any vehicle approved for use by the commission as a taxicab or HAIL vehicle that meets the specifications and requirements for accessible vehicles pursuant to the Americans with disabilities act of 1990, as amended, and  rules promulgated by the commission.

Application program interface. The term “application program interface (API)” means a software intermediary that makes it possible for application programs to interact with each other and share data.

E-hail application. The term “e-hail application” means a software program approved by the commission residing on a computer, smartphone, tablet or other mobile device with wireless internet connectivity which performs one or more of the following functions: (1) allows a passenger to identify the locations of available taxicabs and eligible HAIL vehicles in a given area and allows a driver to identify the location of a passenger who is currently ready to travel; (2) allows a passenger to hail a taxicab or eligible HAIL vehicle via the electronic device;  (3) allows a driver to receive a hail request from such a passenger; and (4) allows customers to make electronic payments.

Payment Card Industry (PCI)-certified. The term “Payment Card Industry (PCI)-certified” means compliant with the policies and procedures developed by Visa, Master Card, Discover and American Express and any other relevant credit or debit card companies in order to optimize the security of credit, debit and cash card transactions.

Street hail livery technology system (L-PEP). The term “street hail livery technology system (L-PEP)” means an integrated system of hardware and software that complies with the technical requirements set forth in the rules of the city of New York regarding such system, and provides the following core services in HAIL vehicles: (1) credit, debit and prepaid card payment; (2) text messaging; (3) trip data collection and transmission; (4) passenger information monitor, screen, or other credit/debit card device; and (5) automatic vehicle location system and location services.

Taxicab technology system (T-PEP). The term “Taxicab technology system (T-PEP)” means an integrated system of hardware and software that complies with the technical requirements set forth in the rules of the city of New York regarding such system and provides the following core services to taxicabs: (1) credit, debit and prepaid card payment; (2) text messaging; (3) trip data collection and transmission; (4) data transmission by means of the passenger information monitor; and (5) automatic vehicle location system and location services.

Third-party e-hail application. The term “third-party e-hail application” means any e-hail application other than an e-hail application developed or caused to be developed by the commission.

b. The commission shall develop or cause to be developed an e-hail application to enable customers to electronically hail taxicab or eligible HAIL vehicles, including the ability to electronically hail an accessible vehicle. Such e-hail application shall be the sole method to electronically hail an accessible vehicle. The T-PEP and L-PEP systems shall be the sole systems authorized by the commission for taxicabs and HAIL vehicles to receive electronic hails. Any e-hail application, provided it meets the following minimum criteria, shall be eligible for an e-hail license:

1. There shall be no charge to a passenger or driver for the use of such e-hail application.

2. The e-hail application shall only dispatch e-hails to HAIL vehicles within the geographic boundaries set by state law for HAIL vehicle pickups.

3. The e-hail application shall allow passengers to provide comments to the commission regarding the ride, including but not limited to, compliments and complaints, as well as allow passengers to rate their drivers.

4. The e-hail application shall display all available taxicabs and HAIL vehicles within a certain radius of the passenger to be determined by the commission and shall be capable of transmitting to the passenger the vehicle number and name of the driver of the first vehicle to accept the hail, the estimated time of arrival as close to real time as feasible, and the location of the vehicle accepting the hail.

5. All payments made through the e-hail application for fares shall be processed through a T-PEP or L-PEP system.

6. The e-hail application shall allow passengers to electronically hail an accessible vehicle.

7. The e-hail application shall be capable of allowing drivers to accept an e-hail while the vehicle is in motion with a single touch or with voice activation. The e-hail application must be locked while the vehicle is in motion.

c. A taxicab or HAIL vehicle driver shall not be required to accept a passenger through the e-hail application provided that once such driver accepts a hail through the e-hail application, such driver must pick up the e-hail passenger. Any driver found in violation of this subdivision shall be subject to penalties pursuant to paragraph b of section 19-507.

d. Upon accepting an e-hail through the e-hail application, the driver of a taxicab or eligible HAIL vehicle shall cause the roof light of such vehicle to indicate that such vehicle is not available for incoming passengers. Such driver shall not begin charging a fare until the passenger has been picked up.

e. A taxicab or eligible HAIL vehicle driver shall only be permitted to charge the passenger picked up through the e-hail application the metered rates provided by law or rule.

f. To use the e-hail application, a passenger must create and manage an account through the e-hail application, as well as on a website approved by the commission. Passengers shall have the option of entering payment information for credit or debit cards or other approved forms of electronic payment. The e-hail application and website shall be capable of offering users the option to save such payment information.

g. The commission may ban passengers who it determines have misused the e-hail application.

h. The commission, or an entity approved by the commission, shall maintain the e-hail application and website, including compiling data on its use. Such data shall include, but need not be limited to, the number of passengers who have hailed a taxicab or HAIL vehicle through the application and the geographic area from which each e-hail originates.

i. The commission shall advertise and promote the e-hail application for no less than 30 seconds during its allotted time for public service announcements on a T-PEP or L-PEP display from 90 days prior to the e-hail application going into service and until, at a minimum, one year after the e-hail application goes into service. The commission may adopt additional promotional methods.

j. The commission shall provide training for all drivers applying for a taxicab driver’s license or for-hire vehicle driver’s license to drive a HAIL vehicle on the use of the e-hail application mandated under subdivision b of this section. Drivers must also receive the training in order to renew such licenses. The commission shall further provide training for such drivers as necessary.

k. Any tip or gratuity shall, in its entirety, be provided to the driver. A taxicab or HAIL vehicle base must remit to the driver the entirety of any sum designated as a gratuity collected by such base from the passenger on behalf of the driver.

l. The commission shall develop an API that allows third-party e-hail applications approved by the commission based on this section and rules of the commission to submit hail requests for fulfillment by taxicabs and eligible HAIL vehicles through the e-hail application. The API shall be reviewed by the commission, or a commission approved entity when necessary, but no less than once every three months, to update the API if the commissioner determines that such API is not meeting the requirements of third-party applications. The commission shall not adopt any rules regulating the dispatch practices used by such third-party e-hail applications, provided that such methodology does not otherwise violate any rules of the commission. Such third-party e-hail applications:

1.  May charge a fee for their use;

2. Shall not influence a passenger attempting to e-hail a taxicab or eligible HAIL vehicle to use another class of for-hire vehicle;

3. Shall meet the requirements of subdivisions b through f of this section, but shall be exempt from the requirements of paragraphs 1 and 4 of subdivision b of this section; and

4. Shall be responsible for recruiting drivers and passengers, and marketing such applications.

m. The API mandated under subdivision l of this section shall, at a minimum, be capable of the following:

1. Receiving vehicle location data from T-PEP and L-PEP and transmitting such information to approved third-party applications;

2. Receiving dispatch requests from commission approved third-party e-hail applications and forwarding requests to appropriate taxicabs and eligible HAIL vehicles;

3.  Accepting dispatch requests and forwarding an acceptance to the e-hail application; and

4.  Securely transmitting fare payment instructions from commission approved third-party e-hail applications to the T-PEP or L-PEP system.

n. The commission shall create a privacy policy for the use of the API mandated under subdivision k of this section.  This privacy policy shall, at a minimum:

1. Prohibit third-party applications from obtaining information about taxicab drivers, other than their names, commission drivers’ license numbers and vehicle numbers; and

2. Prohibit drivers from obtaining personally identifiable information about their passengers, provided however, a passenger may be given the option of waiving such privacy protection.

o. The following integration shall be required of T-PEP and L-PEP systems via the API mandated under subdivision l of this section, except that third-party e-hail application developers shall not be required to use the following information:

1. Driver/medallion login information;

2. Itemized fare information; and

3. E-payments via a PCI-certified processing in order for such T-PEP and L-PEP systems to be capable of accepting from the application payment information necessary to capture the trip record and to provide a printed receipt.

p. The commission may by rule establish additional functions of the e-hail application other than those required by and consistent with this section.

§ 2. This local law takes effect 90 days after it becomes law, except that the commission shall take all actions necessary for its implementation, including the promulgation of rules, prior to such effective date.

 

 

 

 

 

 

AV/JG

Int. 574-2014/LS #13817

9/28/20 1:31 PM