Yellow Taxi

Xinhua/Li Muzi

Councilman Blames City Agency For Collapse Of Taxi Medallion Market

June 24, 2019 - 1:27 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — The City Council is blaming the Taxi and Limousine Commission for the yellow cab industry's crisis, in which nine cabbies have committed suicide and almost 1,000 have filed for bankruptcy.

Investigation Committee Chairman Ritchie Torres declared Monday that the collapse of the medallion market would be remembered as one of the greatest government scandals in the history of New York City.

“The bankruptcies and foreclosures, the suffering and the suicides were not the consequences of market forces beyond the city's control,” he said.

Torres said the city not only failed to regulate the medallion market – it also helped to create it through aggressive auctions, advertising and approvals of predatory transactions.

“Indeed the central culprit of the medallion crisis is the Taxi and Limousine Commission, which succeeded as a speculator, but failed as a regulator,” Torres said.

His comments come as some members of the City Council plan to introduce a package of bills that will crack down on predatory lending practices to taxi drivers that have left hundreds with crippling debt.

In testimony, TLC Commissioner William Heinzen pointed out that while the agency licenses and regulated medallion owners, it does not regulate the lending industry.