Former TLC Commissioner: TLC Drivers Should be Prioritized for Vaccinations
Former TLC Commissioner Matt Daus says NY State is failing TLC drivers when it comes to COVID vaccinations
Matt Daus, a former NYC TLC Commissioner and current President of the International Association of Transportation Regulators (IATR), argues that TLC drivers should be included in New York State’s next phase of vaccine distribution, known as Phase 1b.
“New York State’s next phase of vaccine distribution, known as Phase 1b, includes a long list of workers deemed ‘essential,’ including public transit workers, but makes no mention of TLC drivers…it is critical to further mitigate the risk of spreading COVID by vaccinating TLC drivers on the same timeline as public transit workers. In fact, many TLC drivers are working for the MTA’s Access-A-Ride program, which has outsourced public paratransit work for some of our most vulnerable passengers.”
Daus mentions that the average rideshare trip in 2020 was 16.1 minutes, which would fit CDC’s definition of a risky encounter. He also believes since most TLC drivers are from underrepresented/minority communities, there is an ethical case to be made for prioritizing TLC drivers for vaccines. He ends his op-ed with some insightful TLC data and a warning about the economic consequences of not getting TLC drivers vaccinated in a timely manner.
“The New York ground transport industry continues to suffer tremendous economic damage due to the pandemic. By November 2020, ridership for taxicabs was down 76% compared to January, while executive sedans (black cars/limos) were down by 77%-90%. Uber and Lyft reported their service was down by roughly 35% in October compared to January. Without vaccine priority to encourage their drivers to return to work, these already decimated businesses, will very quickly suffer further irreversible financial ruin before the end of 2021. Literally and figuratively, they need a shot to survive.”
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The TLCMKT Newsletter is written by Dawood Mian, Founder & CEO of TLC Market. He covers the NYC ridesharing industry and related news. Search TLC Market for cars, parts, tires, mechanics, reviews & more. Find great deals at TLCMKT.COM.