City Council members hear testimony on taxi drivers’ medallion-debt crisis

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BROOKLYN -

City Council members heard heart-wrenching testimony Monday from cab drivers who are hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.

Taxi medallions, which certify that a taxi can operate in the city, are hard and expensive to get. The council members partly blamed that there isn’t proper regulation of the medallion from the Taxi and Limousine Commission, causing the debt to pile up.

The committee also said that there have even been nine drivers who have committed suicide over the fact that they couldn’t pay back the loans that they obtained in order to get the medallion in the first place. 

The medallion itself is also losing value, as more and more app-based car services have popped up.

The City Council is working to figure out a way to help the drivers and workers, even suggesting putting pressure on lenders to forgive the large debt.

Advocates have called for the value of the medallion to be determined and set, and then to have any debt owned that’s above the value forgiven.

Officials say that Monday was the first of many meetings needed to help the drivers get back on their feet.

 

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