Uber, Lyft and Co. are taking over Yellow Taxis and the drivers a committing suicide out of desperation.
The famous yellow cabs, we’ve all seen them rolling down their wheels around across all of the US cities. They are an essential part of the urban cityscape of cities like New York and San Francisco.
Some cities are notorious for their traffic jam, that is why subways and buses networks will tell a lot about the city and how serious about solving their transportation problems. Medallion cabs were the ultimate complementary solution for a congested urban life. They were the answer for a fast commute to the destination without having to go through the hassle of bringing your own car from your suburban home and to worry about finding a parking spot next to your work.
Medallion cabs were first invented in 1937. Their main purpose was to create a system that limits and caps down the number of taxis in a city. For decades there has been no more than 12,000 to 13,000 taxis in New York city. In order to operate a medallion, taxi you have to own a permit and at the time owning one used to cost a whooping one million dollars, almost almost a small fortune. However, a new technological advanced idea where every car owner will become a taxi driver using a manageable yet unregulated ride-sharing apps such as Uber and Lyft have taken over the transportation systems in cities. Why? because these rides became cheap and easily manageable through a sophisticated app that made them the perfect way-to-go for most people. This led to an increase in unlicensed drivers saturating the streets and ultimately caused an unfair competition forced the prices to go down. The demand on yellow cabs have decreased causing the permit to reach its lowest cost of around $240,000 that dragged drivers into a crisis. Now there is more than 100,000 drivers approximately associated with Uber and other related apps.
At the time Medallion Cabs used to be a good investment for some people, driving a cab used to bring them at least an $88,000 annually now it went down to about $69,000 a year. Those who took a loan to buy a medallion taxi have gone through an accumulated debt causing a foreclosure.
According to a New York times article not only taxi drivers are hopeless Uber/Lyft drivers are also sinking in debt and poverty “Drivers are trapped in predatory car loans. The money they make from each trip is relatively partly after fees, like sales tax, are reduced and after Uber takes its cut of more than 20 %.”
Due to this chaos in the taxi industry a guy named Douglas Schifter a livery driver shot himself in front of NY city hall on February 5. Douglas shared his feelings on facebook before his death stating
“Due to the huge numbers of cars available with desperate drivers trying to feed their families, they squeeze rates to below operating costs and force professionals like me out of business. They count their money, and we are driven down into the streets we drive, becoming homeless and hungry. I will not be a slave working for chump change. I would rather be dead.”
Schifter isn’t the only one who reached a low point in life there are 6 other livery drivers who have committed suicide after reaching a low point of desperation.
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