‘Life Saving’: New York City Announces Taxi Driver Debt Relief Plan | Business and Economic News

The new program will reorganize loans to up to $200,000 for 3,000 drivers with an average debt of $550,000.

New York City taxi drivers who owe hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans taken to operate their yellow cabs will have their burdens significantly reduced under a new debt relief program.

The program, announced Tuesday by city officials, the New York Taxi Workers Alliance (NYTWA) and taxi medallion lender Marblegate Asset Management, will provide loans to 3,000 drivers with an average debt of $550,000. , will be reorganized up to $200,000.

Officials said $30,000 of that will come from grants and the rest will be secured by city-backed guarantees.

The city-backed guarantee means drivers don’t risk losing their homes if they default, said Bhairavi Desai, executive director of the driving union NYTWA. “It’s life-saving and historic,” she said.

Many taxi drivers who borrowed to buy the medallions they needed to drive their yellow taxis were in massive debt when the value of the medallion plummeted from over $1 million in 2014 to $200,000 a few years later. was holding Taxi industry representatives have blamed the crisis not only on ride-hailing services like Uber, but also on predatory lending practices in the US.

City officials, the Taxi Alliance and Marblegate reached an interim debt relief agreement in November 2021 that has been detailed over the past few months. Under the plan announced Tuesday, Medallion owners will be able to apply for loan refinancing starting Sept. 19.

Taxi drivers attend the New York Taxi Alliance Debt Forgiveness Rally in the Brooklyn Borough of New York, USA.
Taxi drivers attend the New York Taxi Workers Alliance Debt Forgiveness Rally in Brooklyn, New York, USA. [File: Ismail Ferdous/Bloomberg]

Marblegate Asset Management managing partner and chief investment officer Andrew Milgram said drivers shouldn’t wait to apply.

“In a rapidly changing economy, it is imperative that drivers act in September to deliver meaningful debt forgiveness and significant reductions in monthly loan payments,” Milgram said in a statement. rice field.

Democratic New York City Mayor Eric Adams has applauded the deal hammered out by members of his administration, including the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission.

“Our Taxi Medallion owners and drivers have always kept New York City moving, and the time has finally come for real debt relief for owners in need,” Adams said. says. “We’re probably putting tens of thousands of dollars back into these owner-driver pockets and showing them what real relief looks like.”

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