The Voice of the NYC Transportation Industry APRIL 2002
First Taxi Industry Job Expo in New York City !
Executive Director of the Committee for Taxi Safety, David Pollack speaking about the Taxi Job Expo with Senator Charles Schumer (R) and NYC TLC Chairman Matthew Daus (L).
How do you measure an event's success? The first ever Taxi Industry Job Expo was an overwhelming success! Here is the inside information on the Expo from Taxi Insider.
Forty-six participants from every part of the taxi industry were represented in the Astoria World Manor's Grand Ballroom on March 15th. Friendly competitors manned their tables. Each table had a different look. Some vendors had large displays constructed on their tables. A variety of give-aways such as hundreds of tire inflators, flashlights, briefcases, pens, magnets, key chains, and many other types of goodies including food, were given away. That's right, hundreds.
Initially, I feared a possible Expo disaster: What if no one attended? My fears were soon put to rest. I arrived at the Astoria World Manor at 5:30 am. It was still dark, but in front of the entrance were six gentlemen already in line. Each one told me he wanted a hack license and would drive a yellow cab THAT DAY if possible. They had arrived at 3:00 am!
Prior to this event, I had the opportunity to participate in all the Twin Tower Job Expos. But what can anyone really learn about the NYC Yellow Taxi Industry when the entire industry was given only one or two tables at each of the Job Expos? This is why the Taxi Expo was created. Imagine going into one place and being able to learn from 46 groups of people, each with a lifetime of experience in different fields of the Taxi Industry.
Senator Charles Schumer first announced the Taxi Industry Job Expo to the nation just 2 weeks before the event. The Senator said it best. "With 265,00 New Yorkers out of work, it is a blessing to have an industry that has 3,000 jobs available. Driving a yellow cab is a respectable job. If you need a job, you can get one. Drive a yellow cab."
Now it was
up to the Taxi Industry to show the unemployed everything our industry
had to offer, and boy, did we ever! Fox 5's "Today New York"
crew showed up before me to set up for an interview with the chairman
of the TLC Matthew Daus, Ron Sherman from the MTBOT and me, David Pollack
from the Committee for Taxi Safety and Taxi Insider. Three new "Stretch"
Ford Taxi's were parked in front of the Astoria Manor as both Lee Komitor
of Universal Ford and Alex Khalik of LaFres Ford spoke with drivers inside
When the Expo
finally opened, the anxious crowd swarmed into the ballroom. Many headed
directly toward the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission booth,
which was center stage in the ballroom. The TLC gave out special applications
for an expedited hack license. The TLC actually RAN OUT of
It wasn't only a place to get an application it was a place to learn exactly what the Taxi Industry has to offer. Health Stat qualified 36 drivers and their families for FREE Health Insurance in just 3 hours. Gary Kanterman from Solid Brokerage held taxi class. Groups of 20 visitors at a time were totally consumed with his witty explanations of the benefits of owning a medallion. Other brokers in attendance were Neil Greenbaum from Pearland Brokerage, Elysse Sellig from Weintraub and Haber, Mike Mellis, and Alan Plafker of Member Brokerage Service LLC. Meter demonstrations were provided by the Pulsar and Metrometer shops.
Weiss from Weiss & Associates had a full-size stop light at his table
as he discussed representing drivers for traffic summonses and Joe Scifo
discussed representing drivers at the TLC. All of the major Credit Unions
and finance companies attended. They explained the variety of financing
and savings opportunities available: Lou Jimenez from Montauk CU, Richard
Kay from Lomto CU, Robert Familant from Progressive CU, Alan Kaufman and
Willie Bly from Melrose CU, and Mike Kowalski from Medallion Financial.
Licensed Leasing Agents from the Committee for Taxi Safety attended and
discussed weekly medallion leases with hundreds of drivers: Merab from
All Taxi Mgmt., Tony & Billy of Queens Medallion Leasing, Victor Weingarten
and David Beier from Transit Systems Inc., Over a dozen fleets also provided
information to drivers about shifting taxis: Guy Roberts of East West
Management, Team Systems, Midtown Operating and Glenties were just a few
(sorry, no list of fleets or their attendees was provided.) Vinny Sapone
from LOMTO wasdiscussing Lomto benefits to new drivers, as Jean Barrett
and her entire staff helped answer questions from hundreds of
What WE accomplished
at this Expo was to introduce hundreds of unemployed New Yorkers to the
opportunities available in the yellow taxi industry. Remember: hundreds
of applicants registered for hack licenses at this Expo, dozens of families
qualified and registered for FREE Health Insurance, hundreds registered
for "Taxi School".
How do you
measure a successful event? You measure it by the visitors, the participants
(vendors) and by the finished product. This was the most successful event
that the entire yellow taxi industry has ever coordinated. The New York
City Taxi Industry should be proud! The second expo is now in the planning
of auto accidents in the city dropped 7% in 2001. The reduction in accidents
was believed to be due partly to a drop in the number of cars on the road
beginning last fall, as well as single-occupant vehicle restrictions at
bridge and tunnel crossings below 63rd Street in Manhattan during morning
to Driving While Intoxicated 2000:35
to Driving While Intoxicated 2000: 1,971
Summonses 2000: 1,094,704
Source: New York Police Department