NYC taxi drivers rally at City Hall for loan relief (New York, USA)

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NYC Council Member Mark Levine speaks at a press conference with taxi drivers on the steps of NY City Hall calling for debt forgiveness for their medallions, July 11. | rblfmr/Shutterstock

New York, USA — Around 50 yellow-taxi medallion owners and drivers gathered on the steps of NYC City Hall calling for loan relief last Thursday afternoon.

Together with their protest are a few signs that say “no more suicides”. This is rather a sober warning to the city about the risk that comes with crushing debt.

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It can be recalled that three medallion owners took their own lives last year. According to a new city estimate, that’s a suicide rate of about 88 per 100,000 people.

According to reports, drivers believe they should not bear the full collapse of the medallion market. They argue that the government’s failure to regulate ridesharing companies such as Uber and Lyft plays a significant role in the medallion’s downfall.

As of the moment, taxi drivers continue to suffer from overwhelming debt. Statistics show that the average owner-driver owes nearly half a million dollars. Although they earn a monthly payment of between $2,500 and 4,000 each month.

“This crisis was led by a city that pumped up the mortgage bubble,” Councilman Mark Levine stated. “New York City itself made approximately $1 billion on the bubble.”

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