Who's Killing NYC's Taxis? πŸš•

Felix Morgner / flickr

Felix Morgner / flickr

A loan you can't repay

A new report by The New York Times is blaming leaders in the taxi industry for exploiting cabbies and selling them medallions required to operate a taxi with bad loan terms that have many cabbies suffering. In 2013, medallions were selling for as high as $1.3 million. The value has now fell to $250K. Yikes.

Innovation is the blame

Some are pointing to rideshare companies like Lyft and Uber for entering and destroying the dated NYC taxi market. They note that average monthly earnings for a taxi has dropped from $14,500 in 2013 to $10,200 in 2018. Meanwhile, nearly one million Uber and Lyft rides are sold each day.


Daily News: Quick growth of Uber and Lyft has hammered NYC’s yellow cab industry, data shows

Those who say this is rideshare disruption point out that nearly one million Uber and Lyft rides are now sold each day in NY. Meanwhile, average monthly earnings for a NYC taxi has dropped 30% from $14,500 in 2013 to $10,200 in 2018. They do admit that the ridesharing giants are operating at a loss in order to gain market share.


NY Post: Bad loans were killing the taxi industry long before Uber and Lyft: report

NY Times: β€˜They Were Conned’: How Reckless Loans Devastated a Generation of Taxi Drivers

Those who blame bad loan terms say industry leaders and lenders have taken advantage of medallion owners who didn't know exactly what they were signing up for. They call it a scam that has ruined thousands because medallion prices were artificially inflated and risky loans were encouraged to buy medallions. 

Where's the common ground?

Both sides agree that ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft certainly had a part in this disaster and that the loans were risky. They also agree that low-income immigrant families are the ones that are suffering the most from this fallout. 

NYC taxi medallion roller coaster



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