March 8, 2021 Manhattan, New York
NYC Taxi drivers line up, in protest, outside of Gracie Mansion. The unrest comes from Mayor de Blasio’s recent response to a festering issue that has plagued yellow taxi cab drivers for years.
Video by Steve Sanchez (FNTV freedomnews.tv)
According to the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, the protests will last from 8am-11:30pm everyday until a compromise is made. Some of the signs being raised read; “Debt forgiveness now! Let drivers LIVE,” and “SHAME.”
Video by Usman Chohan (FNTV freedomnews.tv)
The problem stems from Mayor de Blasio’s $65 million relief plan to financially realign the yellow taxi cab business. The plan had set to re-establish the value of the medallion, a permit (for NYC Taxi drivers) that promised to be an investment worth purchasing in order to operate in the city. The mayor’s hope is to bring the medallion’s value up to $250,000 by taking from the federal stimulus.
The medallion, which was worth around $200,000 in the beginning of the millennium, had peaked towards the end of 2013 at $1,000,000. A direct consequence of lenders exploiting drivers, and the rise in popularity of ride-share apps (such as Uber and Lyft) had caused a significant crash in value for medallions getting as low as $120,000—leaving many drivers in crippling debt.
Many are also disturbed by the mayor’s lack of acknowledgment towards the yellow taxi cab driver’s plight. A plight that has seen the loss of many cab drivers to suicide. These issues are currently pressing the mayor outside of Gracie Mansion and will continue to do so until a new relief plan is discussed.