Tesla taxi fleet suspended by New York licensing rules

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Don’t expect to see Model Y taxis on New York’s roads anytime soon.

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New York’s iconic yellow cab is as much a part of that city’s identity as the dollar pizza or giant piles of rotten trash in black plastic bags on the sidewalk. Looking at photos of the city, it may seem that there are an unlimited number of yellow taxis, but the truth is that they are strictly limited.

Ridesharing services challenged this limit, so the city chose to require independent licensing of taxi medallions for these vehicles. This limit poses a problem for a startup called Revel, which recently brought in the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission to allow it to operate a fleet of 50 Tesla Model Ys as taxis.

The TLC decision – which was taken with a 5: 1 vote, according to a report released by Teslarati on Wednesday – says that in order for Revel (or any company) to operate its vehicles, it must purchase the existing licenses directly from others. drivers to operate their Teslas legally. The license cap is in place because TLC believes that due to the pandemic and other market stressors, there are already too many licenses compared to customer demand, according to a statement from TLC representatives :

The public meeting aimed to ensure mechanisms to properly manage new / additional permit requests compared to current ridership numbers / needs. Those interested in new / additional vehicle permits have tried to establish a narrative that I do not support EVs because they want new / additional vehicle permits, with no regard for state current market and the fact that vehicle licenses are overcapacity and ridership is low.

Naturally, this does not suit Revel CEO Frank Reig, who released a statement: “The TLC never intended to consider what drivers and New Yorkers had to say and only cared. to scramble that vote on primary day with so little scrutiny. This move does not change the fact that New York City needs an alternative to the predatory leasing system that exploits drivers and pollutes our environment, and Revel is exploring ways to do this. “

While the TLC denied additional vehicle licenses to Revel, it issued a license to Revel to operate a dispatch base. This allows the company to send any properly registered vehicle to pick up and carry the fares, which in itself is a big step towards starting operations.


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