NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — After 46 days of protests and a two-week hunger strike, yellow taxi cab medallion owners are getting the financial relief they’ve been asking for.

The city has reached a deal with the lender and New York Taxi Workers Alliance.

READ MORE: New Yorkers Join Taxi Drivers Staging Hunger Strike In Effort To Get Additional Medallion Debt Relief

“I’m happy. I’m feeling American,” Mouhamadou Aliyu told CBS2’s Cory James.

Aliyu, a 20-year cabbie, has been drowning in a $651,000 medallion loan.

“There is no day I don’t think about committing suicide myself,” he said.

But now, he says he will no longer contemplate that after Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday a new agreement to help struggling taxi drivers, saying in part, “Our taxi workers are the backbone of our city and we refuse to leave them behind.”

“What a victory for working people … Finally have a future, finally can plan, finally can save,” taxi driver Augustine Tang said.

Tang says he has a $485,000 loan and is paying nearly $3,000 a month.

READ MORE: New York City Taxi Drivers Begin Hunger Strike, Say Mayor De Blasio's Debt Relief Bailout Is Not Enough

Now, all loans will be restructured to max $170,000, capping debt monthly payments to around $1,100 for medallion owners, who celebrated outside City Hall.

“This is a huge win,” Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou said.

Niou says this change was needed.

“Ninety-eight percent of our taxi drivers are immigrants, and we know that this predatory debt, this kind of predatory lending … really targets our communities,” she said.

Communities with people like Aliyu, who moved here from Africa nearly three decades ago and finally feels like he is getting a second chance at giving his wife and four kids the American dream.

“Today is a great day because I’m happy being alive. I’m happy I got my life back,” he said. “I will never forget November 3rd.”

The cost to purchase a medallion now is around $100,000.

MORE NEWS: Taxi Drivers Call New York City's Financial Relief Plan A Betrayal, Say Much More Help Is Needed

The New York Taxi Workers Alliance says its 25,000 members can take advantage of the new deal. Non-union members who are cab drivers can take advantage of it, too.

Cory James