The Greater New York Taxi Association, which represents a group of taxi fleets, along with a fleet owner and a cab driver, claimed in the suit that the TLC has gone beyond its powers under the city charter.
The regulatory commission is permitted to set the standards to allow a given vehicle to be used as a yellow cab, but the charter doesn’t permit the commission to require that one vehicle be used exclusively, the lawsuit says.
“The bottom line is they’ve completely overreached,” said Ethan Gerber, the association’s executive director, and a persistent critic of the Taxi of Tomorrow plan. “This is administrative law 101.”
The suit also charges that the Taxi of Tomorrow mandate—which will take effect this fall when the new vehicle, the Nissan NV-200, becomes available for purchase—runs contrary to an existing city law. That law requires the TLC to approve at least one hybrid vehicle for use as a taxicab.
The NV-200 isn’t a hybrid, and TLC officials have acknowledged that as taxi fleets shift to the new vehicle, some of the hybrids now in use will come off the road, replaced by the gasoline-only Nissan.
An administration official said the city hadn’t been served with the suit and couldn’t directly address its claims. “The Taxi of Tomorrow will give riders the safest, most comfortable and efficient taxi ride in the city’s history, and we remain dedicated to the goal of bringing it to New Yorkers,” a TLC spokesman said.
The new suit is one of several efforts to turn back Mr. Bloomberg and TLC Chairman David Yassky in their efforts to force major structural changes in the way the city manages its 13,000-car taxi industry, and the complementary and competing business interests that operate alongside it