After a two-week lengthy starvation strike, taxi drivers acquired a greater debt aid deal from New York Metropolis. Town stated that Marblegate, the most important medallion lender, will restructure excellent loans to $200,000, which can then cap debt funds at $1,122 a month.
The deal was introduced by Mayor Invoice de Blasio, NYC Taxi and Limousine Commissioner Aloysee Heredia Jarmoszuk, and Senate Majority Chief Charles Schumer. Drivers and their union, the New York Taxi Employees Alliance, had criticized an earlier iteration of this system which led to some drivers paying $2,000 a month, and Schumer, in addition to different members of NYC’s congressional delegation, had backed their complaints.
“After a long and painful journey, we made it home to victory,” stated Bhairavi Desai, Govt Director of New York Taxi Employees Alliance. “Today marks a new dawn, a new beginning for a workforce that has struggled through so much crisis and loss. Today, we can say owner-drivers have won real debt relief and can begin to get their lives back. Drivers will no longer be at risk of losing their homes, and no longer be held captive to a debt beyond their lifetime.”
The price of yellow cab medallion, the allow to function a taxi in New York Metropolis, had soared to $1.2 million in 2014, with figures just like the late “Taxi King” Gene Friedman driving up their costs—however the entry of Uber, Lyft, and different app-based for-hire automobiles has pushed medallions to about $100,000. In 2018, eight taxi drivers took their lives, beneath crippling taxi medallion debt.
Driver Rajeev Kaushik purchased his medallion for $500,000 and tried to restructure his mortgage a number of occasions. He defaulted on the remaining $330,000 mortgage final 12 months. He stated final week, earlier than this deal was introduced, “They don’t want to come to any kind of deal, so I have no option.”
The $200,000 restructured loans breaks all the way down to $170,000 in a assured mortgage and a $30,000 grant from the town, with the mortgage at a 5% rate of interest and a 20-year time period, based on a press launch, which additionally stated, “The City will provide funding for a guarantee on the principal and interest for these loans and will work with all other medallion lenders to achieve the same terms.”
The NYTWA additionally stated that drivers who may not be capable of pay their loans might be compelled to surrender their medallions, however “will be protected from foreclosure on their homes or garnishment of their bank accounts.”