Brand-new state law enables CDTA to oversee local taxi service


In the subsiding days of its yearly session, the state Legislature authorized an expense that would offer the Capital District Transportation Authority oversight of taxi services in the four counties it serves. As soon as the expense is signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, it would permit towns to opt in to having CDTA end up being the entity that administers registration and licensing of cabs.

The intent is to enable local governments to preserve their own control over taxi services and to work with CDTA on the administrational part, said Assemblyman John McDonald III, D-Cohoes, the Assembly sponsor for the costs. We wish to establish one typical platform to sweat off of.

Taxi services have actually been administered by local ordinances, and each municipality has different regulations, making it hard for cab companies.

This would offer a one-size-fits-all umbrella over the taxi services in the area, and I believe doing what we do here is going to make a difference. Our No. 1 top priority is to create one set of guidelines for all taxi business in the Capital Region.

CDTA would take on management responsibilities including taking and solving complaints, customer service, updating websites, background checks and developing a standard procedure for drivers. McDonald said these are all aspects that have not been consistent throughout the area.

We are aiming to increase the alternatives people have concerning mobility, said Basile. We wish to update the level of taxi service and upgrade the level of expectations for consumers. Rather than go through meters, which are old innovation, let s have it to where you pay through an app and let individuals use their phone.

Basile said those companies that choose in would need to follow new CDTA rules that would define exactly what drivers can wear, create standards for car cleanliness and dependability, inform clients exactly what they will need to pay before they enter a cab, put charge card readers in taxis and develop a formal complaint system. I think if you talk with people who use taxis now, they would most likely state that they aren’t constantly comfortable taking a cab, said Basile. We would deal with improving the service and expectations of the cab drivers.

McDonald agreed that would enhance local taxi service.

All of us know that we need to have a better taxi service, and this is a step in the best instructions, he stated. While the Legislature approved this expense, it could not come to an arrangement to allow ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft to come to upstate New York. Basile stated he thinks that if ridesharing is ultimately approved, it would offer another choice for customers. I believe that this is the next best action to having ridesharing, Basile stated of the taxi costs.

But downtown Troy restaurateur Vic Christopher believes the legislation permitting CDTA to supervise taxi services will not enhance how people get around town.

I believe that regional cabs aren’t geared up and are disinterested in recreational transportation, stated Christopher. The majority of the taxi’s revenue comes from medical transportation, which is reimbursable by the government. That is where the majority of the cab business do their business; it is not in couples heading out to supper or people looking for a ride back home after experiencing night life in a city like Troy.

Christopher believes ridesharing would enhance on existing public transportation in many methods.

The cabs are not thinking about providing a type of connection that ridesharing would quickly offer, said Christopher. In regards to creating economic activity for the entire Capital Region and linking our cities and towns in a way that doesn’t presently exist, ridesharing could attain that. Uber is an excellent example of a low-cost entrepreneurship chance for individuals seeking to put a couple extra dollars in their pocket and assistance drive people around.

Ridesharing was not authorized; Basile and McDonald believe the taxi costs will still prove helpful for public transportation users. This will not address all the concerns that ridesharing has assured, however this will surpass options that are already there, stated McDonald.