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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).
CTS Taxi Photo Gallery

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 the Expo.

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
applications just before the end of the expo! The Hanac and Master-Cabbie Taxi Academies actually registered about 240 new yellow taxi students! The ratio of visitors compared to vendors was over 10 to 1. That's right, over 500 people visited the First Taxi Expo.

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.

Attorney Matthew 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
drivers. Sujoy from CABWATCH prepared driver applicants to help prevent crime. Even world reknown taxi artist John Suchy displayed some of his latest taxi and NYC artwork. Rooflight advertiser Eyal from Road Runner displayed his digital satellite rooflight, a way to earn extra income for every owner. Two Insurance Companies were vendors too! Annie Weinstein and her staff from Hereford Insurance Company discussed workers compensation policies as Elysse Sellig from American Country Insurance Company discussed liability insurance.

Channel 7 News covered the event on the 5:00 news and NY1 covered it the entire day. It was also talked about on National Public Radio, on WADO AM, in El Diario and in the Time Ledger.

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".
Senator Schumer was right, we did put New Yorkers back to work! It is quite gratifying for me personally to be able to participate in an event that benefited so many. Thank you vendors! You gave our visitors access to your experience and guided each visitor professionally. You are the reason this event was fantastic. I want to personally thank Neil Greenbaum, for it was he who initiated this fantastic idea.

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 stages.

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7% Drop in Accidents

The number 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 rush hours.
Citywide in 2001, there were 244,515 accidents, down from 262,786 in 2000, although accident-related deaths rose from 380 to 385, according to Police Department figures.
The number of pedestrains killed dropped to 183 from 187, and the number of byciclists fatally struck dropped from 18 to 14.
Accidents involving drunken drivers killed 34 people last year, a decrease of one, and the number of accidents involving drunken drivers rose by two to 1,793.

Fine Hikes Urged
Transportation Alternatives advocated for an increase in fines for moving violations such as speeding.
The number of moving violations issued by police slipped 11.6% last year, partly due to the redeployment of many officers after September 11.

Police Statistics
Auto Accidents 2000: 262,786
2001: 244,515

Auto Accident Deaths
2000: 380 (187 pedestrians, 116 drivers, 59 passengers, 14 bicyclists)

Deaths Associated to Driving While Intoxicated 2000:35
2001: 34

Accidents Associated to Driving While Intoxicated 2000: 1,971
2001: 1,973

Moving Violation Summonses 2000: 1,094,704
2001: 967,238

Source: New York Police Department

34 Accidents