The city is recruiting cabbies whose backseats are empty to help deliver food to seniors during the coronavirus outbreak.

The Taxi & Limousine Commission sent an email to drivers asking them to sign up for a new program, DeliveryTLC, as part of the city's effort to help licensed cab drivers replace lost trips.

"The world is changing around us and many of you are without work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic," the letter from the TLC says. "You are a top priority for the TLC and we recognize that you are among the hardest hit by this public health crisis."

The city will pay drivers $15 an hour, and reimburse them for gas, tolls and mileage.

The work will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis and, the TLC says, "initially, the need for drivers will be small, but expected to increase as more residents request meal delivery."

"Drivers are ready to step up to help the city in this time of great need," Brendan Sexton, director of the Independent Drivers Guild, which advocates for the city's app-based drivers, said in a statement.

Drivers can sign up at