Debt-Saddled NYC Taxi Drivers to Get $10 Million Break and Loan Protections
By Brian M. Rosenthal
For more than a decade, New York City officials stood by while thousands of cabdrivers became mired in reckless loans that saddled them with debt they could not afford and helped lead to a near-collapse of the industry.
On Wednesday, Corey Johnson, the speaker of the City Council, unveiled a package of bills aimed at preventing that from happening again. The Council, responding to an investigation in The New York Times, also plans to hold a hearing later this month to examine the city’s role in the crisis that devastated a generation of cabbies.
“It’s clear that we need to take legislative action to protect medallion owners and drivers from predatory actors, including lenders, medallion brokers and fleet managers,” said Mr. Johnson, a Democrat.
At the same time, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a separate set of initiatives: The city is eliminating as much as $10 million in fees to taxi medallion owners, and drivers will be able to obtain financial counseling from a new “driver assistance center.”