Ride-sharing apps like Lyft, Uber, and Juno are causing more and more cabbies to sink into financial and emotional dire straits. In the past few months, 3 cabbies have committed suicide.
Taxicab medallions which use to cost over a million dollars have plunged so much in value over the past few years, families who invested their life savings are finding themselves unable to make a living and make payments on their medallion investments.
The ride-sharing craze has added an estimated 40,000 more vehicles competing for the automotive transportation dollar.
Bharirvi Desai, the Executive Director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance said: "There is a deepening sense of desperation sweeping through the ranks of cab drivers". "Drivers are working 12-hour shifts and bring home only 50 dollars".
The latest cab driver to end his life, Douglass Shifter killed himself in his car right in front of city hall.
Mayor de Blasio attended the vigil for Mr. Shifter and stressed the need to help cabbies who are experiencing both economic and mental health distress. De Blasio also added that the city has to figure out a set of standards that apply to all elements of the for-hire vehicle industry equally and simultaneously.
TLC Commissioner Meera Joshi released a statement that read; there needs to be a way to protect TLC driver's yearly earnings without limiting or imposing on ride-sharing companies.
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