Head of New York City Taxi Commission Meera Joshi to step down

Meera Joshi
Meera Joshi; photo credit: nyc.gov

Joshi is the second woman and first Indian American to head the commission.

 Meera Joshi, Chairwoman and Chief Executive Officer of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, will step down from her post in March.

She is the second woman and first Indian American to head the commission.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said that the TLC chair will be stepping down in March and a replacement will be announced in the coming months.

Joshi, who has been serving as the commissioner for the past five years, said in a statement that she was deeply grateful to the TLC community.

RELATED: Meera Joshi’s campaign to give benefits to out of work cabbies continues as NYC’s TLC Commissioner (April 21, 2014)

“It has been an honor to serve New York City through the effective regulation of almost 200,000 drivers in over 130,000 vehicles moving over a million people each day,” Joshi said. “Thanks to a skilled and principled TLC staff, a Commission dedicated to doing the right thing and engaged industry members and advocates, through public debate and data we increased accountability, safety, access, modernized taxi regulation, protected drivers and increased consumer protections. I am deeply grateful to the TLC community that made this possible.”

On Tuesday morning, when Joshi spoke at the Crains’ New York business breakfast, she hinted that there was a lack of clear communication between her and the Council’s For-Hire Vehicle Committee chairman, Bronx Councilman Ruben Diaz Sr.

“In the Council environment, I am limited,” she said. “I am under oath when I speak. He doesn’t operate under the same limitation and we have a different way of gaining support for our positions. And so that just created what I think a very unproductive clash.”

She added: “At the end of the day, taxpayers pay my salary. They pay council members’ salaries. So unless, we’re working together to get an end that’s better for New York, it’s not an effective use of time and money.

Joshi’s resignation has come at a time when the industry has been going through a difficult phase. Last year, the New York Taxi Workers Alliance (NYTWA) pleaded with the City Hall to start regulating Uber and Lyft to help cash-strapped yellow cab drivers. Last year, more than six driver deaths shocked the industry as each one was apparently suicidal in nature.

During her tenure, Joshi was able to negotiate a pay raise for drivers from car service apps such as Uber Technologies and Lyft inc.

NYC became the first city in the country to cap services like Uber and Lyft to help the traditional yellow cab industry and also help reduce growing traffic.

Mayor Bill de Blasio praised Joshi’s work. “She will leave an unparalleled legacy and has raised the bar for good government,” he said. “Under her leadership New Yorkers who use wheelchairs can get service, passengers are assured that every driver and vehicle is safe, our city has detailed records of the one million daily trips and New York City is the only place where app drivers have pay protection.”

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