NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Drivers of yellow cabs said the rise of ride-share companies like Uber and Lyft is cutting into their bottom line.
As CBS2’s Jessica Borg reported, they want New York City to do something about it.
Sergio Cabrera is a father of six. He’s been driving his yellow taxi for 20 years with one goal in mind.
“Have some upward mobility, have some dignity in retirement,” he said.
He paid more than $200,000 for his medallion — which just 4 years ago was valued at more than $1-million.
He said ride-share apps such as Uber and Lyft have caused a 90 percent drop in the value of drivers’ medallions.
Yellow cab drivers say their industry is in crisis and want the city to help them out.
“In the charter it says the city is responsible for the financial stability of the medallion. Well, follow the rules” Taxi Medallion Owners and Drivers Association spokesman Richard Lipsky said.
The city’s transportation committee said it may now create a task force to come up with specific ways to help cab drivers.
Cab drivers want the city to impose higher licensing fees on their rivals, and possibly impose restrictions on where they can go.
They also want a cap on how many ride-share apps there are in general.
“You can’t compete with somebody who has an unlimited amount of cars, when you’re capped at 13,000,” Lipsky said.
Uber told CBS2 its growth is in neighborhoods outside of Manhattan which ares, “underserved by mass transit and ignored by yellow cabs.”
Uber driver Saheem Dei said he’s trying to make a living too and that passengers should have options.
“You could use Uber or you could take yellow,” he said.
Committee Chair Ydanis Rodriguez said he’s proposing a new bill.
“It will allow an individual who owns a medallion to have two cars instead of one,” Rodriguez said.
Cab drivers hope the city comes up with solutions soon.
Customers hope whatever new fees are imposed on ride-share companies, it doesn’t trickle down to them.
The transportation committee chair hopes to create that special task force with the approval of the city council within the next few weeks.