NYT: Industry Leaders Helped Bury NYC Taxi Drivers Under Mountains of Debt

HeadlineMay 20, 2019

A new investigation by The New York Times exposes the financial schemes at the root of the New York City taxi driver crisis. The report reveals that a group of industry leaders artificially inflated the cost of taxi medallions and orchestrated a predatory lending scheme, collecting millions of dollars in the process and putting many drivers into debilitating debt. City agencies did little to curb the system, which a Harvard professor quoted in the report called “modern-day indentured servitude.”
While the advent of rider apps like Uber and Lyft contributed to a loss of income for licensed taxi drivers, the investigation finds that the taxi medallion bubble had already laid the groundwork for the current driver crisis. At least eight drivers have died by suicide since the start of 2018, with at least some of the drivers linking the decision to their crushing debt.

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