Essentially, the tipping point in their giving up on life has been how in debt they became from what they perceive as unfair competition from app-services such as Uber and Lyft. They are putting in much longer hours cruising for fares and yet coming home with significantly less revenue.
Among those hit the hardest financially have been medallion owners. At one time they cost about a million dollars. Now that app-services have snatched so much business from traditional cabbies, they often have depreciated to $175k.
Uber chief executive officer Dara Khosrowshahi has made a puzzling response to this business and human tragedy. He told the New York Post that he is willing for the city to impose a surcharge on Uber fares. Those funds - and how much they will be has not been determined - would be given to the traditional taxi drivers. But only medallion owners who are independent taxi drivers. That accounts for a small percentage of independent drivers of taxi cabs and black cars.
Obviously, Khosrowskhahi doesn't get it or pretends to not to get it how tough it is for any traditional taxi or black car driver to make it now on the streets of NYC. Uber has been a main factor in the game change.
Here, in The New York Times, is the tragic chronicle of medallion owner Yu Mein Chow. He had the American Dream of putting his children through college. When that proved financially impossible he gave up on life.
Given that the rate of suicide has surged about 30% since 1996, one wonders why government and the private sector haven't joined together to address this side effect of technology and seeming out of date public policy.
Contact Jane Genova email@example.com.