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New Outreach Campaign Informs Taxi and For-Hire Drivers About 24/7 Health and Mental Health Care

NYC Health + Hospitals’ Virtual ExpressCare – available by any video-enabled device or via phone – can address ailments such the common cold to needed prescription refills to depression

The campaign is a partnership between the Taxi & Limousine Commission, NYC Health + Hospitals, and the Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health

May 30, 2024

New York, NY — The City today announced a new outreach campaign to educate and connect the city’s taxi and for-hire drivers to services they can access to assist with both physical and behavioral health, including 24/7 consultation through NYC Health + Hospitals’ Virtual ExpressCare, as well as a dedicated driver wellness room at TLC’s Long Island City offices. Taxi and for-hire drivers as well as their family members can access these important services through the city’s driver wellness website, expresscare.nyc/nycdriverwellness, and dedicated helpline, 718-360-2729, specifically for them.

“Taxi and for-hire care drivers help New Yorkers get around, but for too long they have been left behind,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “Our city’s drivers experience multiple job-related stressors as they work tirelessly to serve our communities, which is why our administration is committed to protecting their physical and mental health. This outreach campaign will ensure drivers know about many of the resources, including 24/7 virtual options, available to them and their family members. I urge all drivers to take advantage of these services and take care of themselves.”

“Taxi and for-hire drivers play a key role in making our city go; they help us get to where we need to be. However, the drivers that help us get to our appointments or to the airport need support on their journey too,” said Deputy Mayor Anne Williams-Isom. “This initiative centers opportunities for the roughly 180,000 drivers to receive the physical and mental health care they need, as drivers have been shown to have higher rates of chronic diseases and increased levels of anxiety. Through Virtual ExpressCare and other resources, drivers will now be able to access services when they need them and in a manner that works for them.”

According to numerous studies, compared to the general population professional drivers have higher rates of diabetes, hypertension, stress, and anxiety and depression. This is both due to the sedentary nature of the work, and the stress that often occurs on the job. The campaign will include posters, social media, web, and email outreach to the city’s 180,000 drivers, 95% of whom come from immigrant communities, and encourage them and their families to access the services via any video-enabled device or phone if needed. The service will be tailored to TLC drivers and their families to help with any immediate concerns while connecting them to ongoing care to improve their long-term overall health and wellness. The initiative is a partnership between the Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC), NYC Health + Hospitals, and the Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health (OCMH).

“The good health and wellbeing of our drivers is of the utmost importance for us. This is not only important for them and their families, it also makes all of us safer on the streets,” said Taxi & Limousine Commissioner David Do. “Any TLC driver can access these resources and get connected to professional care. We also now have a dedicated Wellness Center in our Long Island City offices, accessible through our Owner Driver Resource Center, where licensees can have a private video consultation with providers. I encourage any driver looking for healthcare assistance to drop in on their next visit, or access Virtual Express Care online or by phone.”

“As the son of a retired Yellow Taxi driver, I recognized the physical challenges and stress associated with job as well difficulty accessing health and wellness services. We are able to give drivers needed, immediate access to a provider with Virtual ExpressCare to help them anytime and anywhere with their health and wellness needs. We are excited to have this partnership with TLC and OCMH to make a real difference among drivers and their families,” said Erfan Karim, MPH, Executive Director of Virtual ExpressCare at NYC Health + Hospitals.

“TLC drivers have faced unprecedented mental health challenges,” said Omar Fattal, MD, MPH, Co-Deputy Chief Medical Officer and System Chief of Behavioral Health at NYC Health + Hospitals. “With behavioral health care as part of Virtual ExpressCare, TLC drivers can get help managing stress, anxiety, or depression and will be able to speak to a provider in minutes. With access 24/7, this will make a huge difference for drivers and their families who need help outside of traditional business hours.”

“New York City’s taxi and for-hire drivers play a vital role in our vibrant city. They are often hardworking immigrants, dedicated to providing for their families while keeping the city moving. But being a taxi driver often comes with stressors, such as financial burdens, safety concerns, hours spent in isolation, and for some, coping with the separation from families in countries of origin,” said Eva Wong, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health. “Recognizing the physical and emotional stressors and seeking help is important. This is why my office is a proud partner in ensuring our vital New Yorkers have access to NYC Health + Hospitals’ Virtual ExpressCare through a dedicated website and telephone number for TLC drivers and family members. By offering a service available 24/7 and in over 200 languages, we hope to ease some barriers and bring some needed medical and behavioral health services to taxi drivers and their families when and where they need them.” 

TLC’s partnership with NYC Health + Hospitals is the latest part of a broader, ongoing outreach effort that includes informing drivers of hospital services specifically tailored to them, as well as health fairs at JFK and LaGuardia airports.

Virtual ExpressCare is available in over 200 languages and connects patients to a medical urgent care or behavioral health provider within minutes. Patients can receive immediate and confidential care for an array of physical and behavioral health concerns, including Covid-19, minor injuries, fever and flu, upper respiratory infections, anxiety, depression, and substance use issues. Virtual ExpressCare is available to all New Yorkers at expresscare.nyc or calling 631-EXP-Care (631-397-2273). Launched in 2020, Virtual ExpressCare has grown to offer approximately 90,000 virtual visits annually. The service played a key role in the City’s and State’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2022, Virtual ExpressCare partnered with the New York State Department of Health to offer COVID-19 therapeutics through the State’s new COVID-19 hotline, 888-TREAT-NY. The service provides same or next day life-saving COVID-19 therapeutic treatment.

The cost of Virtual ExpressCare depends on the patient’s insurance. If a patient has insurance, NYC Health + Hospitals will bill the patient’s insurance for the visit. If a patient is uninsured, the service will help patients obtain coverage through health insurance, NYC Care, or a sliding scale program.



NYC Health + Hospitals: PressOffice@nychhc.org, 212-788-3339
TLC: press@tlc.nyc.gov, 212-676-1070

About NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission
Created in 1971, NYC TLC is the agency responsible for licensing and regulating New York City’s Medallion (Yellow) taxi cabs, for-hire vehicles (community-based liveries, black cars, and luxury limousines), commuter vans, and paratransit vehicles, along with the businesses that operate them. It is recognized as the largest and most active taxi and For-Hire Vehicle regulatory body in the United States.

Over 200,000 TLC licensees complete approximately 1,000,000 trips each day. To operate for hire, drivers must first undergo a background check, have a safe driving record, and complete 24 hours of driver training. TLC-licensed vehicles are inspected for safety and emissions at TLC’s Woodside Inspection Facility.

To find out more about the TLC, or to review its rules, regulations, and procedures, we encourage you to visit our official Web site at www.nyc.gov/taxi or contact 311/311 Online.

About NYC Health + Hospitals
NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest municipal health care system in the nation serving more than a million New Yorkers annually in more than 70 patient care locations across the city’s five boroughs. A robust network of outpatient, neighborhood-based primary and specialty care centers anchors care coordination with the system’s trauma centers, nursing homes, post-acute care centers, home care agency, and MetroPlus health plan—all supported by 11 essential hospitals. Its diverse workforce of more than 43,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible. For more information, visit www.nychealthandhospitals.org and stay connected on FacebookTwitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

About the Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health
The Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health (OCMH) is committed to improving mental health outcomes for all New Yorkers and ensuring that more people can get the mental health support they need to live healthy and content lives. We advance our goals by coordinating the development of citywide policies and strategies to fill critical gaps in mental healthcare. OCMH works with City agencies to reduce barriers to mental health care for marginalized communities. Our priorities are rooted in equity, racial justice, and cultural responsiveness. We adopt a community-centered and strength-based approach that recognizes diverse perspectives, lived experiences, resilience, and the unique needs of New Yorkers.