If you recognize the name Matthew Daus, you were probably riding a cab today: As commissioner of the city's Taxi & Limousine Commission, Daus oversees the city's fleet of more than 13,000 taxis, and has his name on stickers in every single one.
Daus attended Brooklyn College and earned a law degree from Touro before getting his start as a litigator in private practice. He turned to civil service in 1994 when Rudy Giuliani appointed him a prosecutor for the New York City Commission on Human Rights; he later became general counsel of the New York City Community Development Agency. In 1998, he became general counsel of the Taxi & Limousine Commission, and moved up to commissioner three years later thanks to an appointment by Giuliani. Mayor Bloomberg re-upped his term in 2003, which means Daus will have the job through 2010.
As commissioner of the TLC, Daus has earned points for his efforts to add more hybrid electric vehicles to the city's taxi fleet—there are now over 300 hybrid cabs roaming the streets, with many more on the way. But serving as TLC commissioner more often entails being on the receiving end of criticism rather than praise. The TLC's decision to raise fares in 2004 and again in 2006 made cab drivers and fleet owners happy, but passengers grumbled. In 2007, the TLC ticked off drivers by mandating the installation of credit card swiping devices and GPS tracking systems in all the city's cabs. Citing privacy and financial concerns, the cabbies' protest culminated in a series of strikes in late 2007, which were organized by eternal Daus foe Bhairavi Desai and her New York Taxi Workers Alliance.
He made $170,222 as commissioner in 2007.
Daus and his wife Charisse live in Bay Ridge with their children, Matthew Jr. and Nicolette. Charisse is the operations manager at Search, Inc., a headhunting agency in Manhattan. In his spare time, Daus is chairman of the board of the Community Understanding for Racial and Ethnic Equality, the non-profit headed up by Giuliani's "political godmother" Mary Sansone.