NYC taxi drivers block streets near City Hall to demand debt relief
NEW YORK - Taxi drivers in New York City protested outside City Hall in Manhattan on August 20 to demand Mayor Bill de Blasio provide help as the steep drop-off in ridership caused by COVID-19 continued to impact the industry.
The demonstration, organized by the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, called for debt forgiveness for cab drivers.
The union said 80 percent of yellow cab owner-drivers faced food insecurity. The demonstration brought a caravan of cabs to City Hall and to the offices of three financial lenders in New York and New Jersey.
The coronavirus pandemic has almost crippled the taxi industry in the city, with taxi trips in June down by more than 70 percent compared to before the pandemic. Drivers were already suffering from the taxi medallion crisis that left many drivers in hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt.
Mayor De Blasio has said that the city simply does not have the money to bail out the city's taxi drivers, but believes that the federal government should step in to help.