NYC taxi drivers see debt relief in enhanced program

Taxi drivers can begin closing on restructured loans on Sept. 19

Thousands of New York City taxi owners will see hundreds of millions of dollars in debt relief under a deal between the city, the largest taxi medallion lender and the union representing yellow cab, green car, black car, livery and app-dispatched drivers.

"After three years of direct action, including six weeks of a 24/7 mobilization that began on Sept. 19th and a 15-day Hunger Strike which concluded on Nov. 3rd, we won a City guarantee on medallion loans and affordable monthly payments for owner-drivers!" said the New York Taxi Workers Alliance.

Mayor Eric Adams and David Do, the chair and commissioner of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, announced an agreement Tuesday.


The deal with Marblegate Asset Management permits lenders and owners to move forward with renegotiated loan agreements that include a city-funded loan guarantee.

The agencies will implement Medallion Relief Program + and restructure outstanding loans to a maximum principal balance of $200,000 and medallion owners can begin the loan restructuring process immediately. 

They can begin closing on restructured loans on Sept. 19.

Taxi cabs

Taxicab drivers participate in a New York Taxi Alliance Debt Forgiveness rally in the Brooklyn Borough of New York, Sun., Sept. 19, 2021. (Photographer: Ismail Ferdous/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

According to Fox 5 New York, many cab drivers in the city have voiced concerns about operating at current fares with rising gas prices.

The station noted that many taxi drivers who borrowed to buy the medallions landed in debt when the value of a medallion plummeted from more than $1 million in 2014 to $200,000 a few years later. 


New York City taxi drivers protest over debt

New York City taxi drivers and their supporters demanding debt relief rally during the second week of a hunger strike outside City Hall on Oct. 31, 2021 in New York City.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images / Getty Images)

"The enhanced version of the Medallion Relief Program we are announcing today will deliver life-changing debt forgiveness to more than 3,000 drivers who deserve economic justice," said Adams said in a statement. 

Monthly payments capped at no more than $1,122, the taxi drivers' union said.

A taxi

A yellow cab taxi on Mar. 24, 2022 in New York City.  (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images / Getty Images)


Andrew Milgram, managing partner and chief investment officer at Marblegate Asset Management, said the finalization of the program represented months of hard work. 

"While we are all proud of this program, it is critical that we move forward quickly to get drivers’ loans restructured. With a rapidly changing economy, it is vital drivers act in the month of September to realize meaningful debt forgiveness and a sizable reduction in their monthly loan payments," he said. "The more drivers that participate, the more this is a win for taxis — and a testament to the tenacity of NYTWA executive director Bhairavi Desai and the drivers who have succeeded in working with Mayor Adams, the TLC, and Senator Schumer to forever change the lives of these medallion owners."