Indian-origin woman set to lead NY’s taxi and limousine agency

Indian-origin Meera Joshi was nominated as the Chairman of taxi and limousine services of New York city.

New York | Updated: March 9, 2014 3:26:04 pm
Meera Joshi had most recently served as the agency's General Counsel under former mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration. (Reuters) Meera Joshi had most recently served as the agency’s General Counsel under former mayor Michael Bloomberg. (Reuters)

An Indian-origin woman has been nominated by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio to lead the city’s crucial taxi and limousine agency, which regulates the city’s expansive network of yellow and green taxis and livery cabs.

Meera Joshi, nominated to serve as Chairwoman and Chief Executive Officer of the New York City Taxi and Limousine
Commission (TLC), had most recently served as the agency’s General Counsel under former mayor Michael Bloomberg’s
administration, a statement issued by the mayor’s office said.

Her nomination has to be approved by the City Council. A University of Pennsylvania alumnus, Joshi has worked in the city government for more than a decade. As General Counsel at the TLC, she supported the regulation of more than 160,000 licensees and personally oversaw a portfolio of initiatives that have brought new cab services to New Yorkers.

She has also prosecuted financial injustices against victimised taxi drivers. Joshi was also instrumental in the city’s commitment to 50 per cent wheelchair accessibility by 2020, and the requirement that all taxicabs be crash-tested to federal standards by the end of 2014.

The Mayor described Joshi as a “dedicated public servant” with the experience and energy to move the city’s Taxi and
Limousine Commission in a progressive direction, “ensuring we prioritise New Yorkers’ safety.” Joshi termed her nomination an “honour” and said she is committed to the de Blasio administration’s agenda of providing equitable taxi and for-hire transportation services and safe streets for all New Yorkers.

Joshi’s nomination got support from the city’s taxi workers’ unions. The New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers expressed confidence that the group would work with Joshi in “ensuring the city’s thousands of drivers are treated fairly and that the taxi industry continues to be a beacon of economic opportunity for New Yorkers and their families.”

“Meera Joshi’s sense of justice was evident in everything the TLC did to protect drivers from financial predators,” said
New York Taxi Workers Alliance Organizer Bhairavi Desai. Joshi is the latest Indian-origin official to be named to
serve in de Blasio’s administration.

Earlier, Indian-origin lawyer Nisha Agarwal had been appointed as head of immigrant affairs in Mayor’s office. Last month eminent Indian-American physician Ramanathan Raju was appointed by de Blasio as New York City’s Commissioner of Health and Hospitals Corporation, a network which has a dozen hospitals.

Rahul Merchant is New York City’s first Citywide Chief Information and Innovation Officer (CIIO). Meenakshi Srinivasan is the Chair of the Board of Standards and Appeals.

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