The Yellow cab crises


I’ve been driving the yellow cab around NYC for the past 25 years. In between I tried different jobs, like buy a chicken farm, but it didn’t work out. Apparently my eldest daughter hates the smell of chicken poop and she refused to leave our two apartment bedroom. She was fourteen at that time. My wife disagreed too saying that she wouldn’t move to a place where the morning breeze smelled like raw chicken. The deal I was trying to make didn’t work out either so I decided to stay in NYC and buy my own medallion (taxi).

Initially I bought the medallion at a low price in 2001 (after my youngest daughter was born and I tell her every day that she’s my lucky charm.) I took a loan from the bank to lease the medallion. It worked out and everything was going well. In 2003 me and my wife decided that my wife would stay in Pakistan with our kids and I would stay here in America. My family stayed in Pakistan for six years (that’s a whole other story) and I would go in between to meet them. Now fast forward to 2009, my family came back and I needed a bigger house so I decided to sell the medallion and buy a farm in Maryland, unfortunately the farm didn’t work out, so we ended up back in New York. The Medallion price was increasing and at that time and it seemed like a good investment. So I put all my money into it, took a loan and bought a medallion. That was the only thing I was sure about. I knew the city inside out. Even now I can close my eyes and tell you exactly where to go like a GPS.

Things were going well and then Uber started. I didn’t think much of it because I didn’t know how apps worked. But in 2013 Uber picked up its pace and slowly it started taking over the city especially Manhattan. In the next couple of years Uber gained popularity. The price of the medallion came crashing down. Let’s just say that many Taxi owners were drenched in interest and loans. Three of my known cabbies committed suicide and a few others filed for bankruptcy.

I’m not saying Uber is bad, but the city should do something for all these people that had bought the medallion. Maybe have a relief program which helps reduce the loan. The TLC (Taxi and Limousine commission) is fighting the city and I hope it works in our favor.

8 Comments Add yours

  1. theholodoc says:

    I am sorry that UBER has so disrupted your industry as to devalue your investment. I hope you can recover and find your way in this new economic landscape as well as you can negotiate through the city of New York. It is clear that the ‘gig economy’ has brought massive changes to many of the self-employed. The pandemic is bringing more, and climate portends more still. That said, thank you for raising good kids. Dr. Bob

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yetismith says:

    I am so sorry you have had these problems. I don’t know anything about Uber but I think there should be some protection of the work expected by Medallion. It doesn’t seem at all fair to me. The only time I tried to use Uber, because I had no choice, they failed totally!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. A. Rinum says:

      Yes agreed! I understand that people need convenience but the city should do something for yellow cab drivers

      Liked by 1 person

  3. davidatqcm says:

    Preservere my friend

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jarold Waid says:

    A. Rinum,
    Hi, Thank you for being a Yellow Cab Driver & a good person, I can tell.
    You know and all taxi drivers do, that Uber has been here not just this year or last. They have been here since March 2009. That’s a dozen years of no overhead, no cars, maintenance or employees.

    I also understand independent contractor’s and whatever 60/40 splits. I also under stand taxi companies that pay wages, Labor & Industries Insurance and other benefits,

    Most companies do not fall under this group of cab drivers. I did in the end and got hurt on the job and I receive a disability insurance check.

    I also know very little about medallion’s and how they work. Seems like the richer people and drivers bought there own medallions to work in New York City and other towns coast to coast that use that system for, “In order to pick up and drop fares” or transport from motels, streets, airports and others places. Along came Uber/ Lift and other for hire’s.

    So for whatever reason /’s the bottom fell out of the Medallions market, that had tons of loans against most and total chaos for all, for all! Whether an owner, driver or a leaser of your car.
    For Hire drivers, and I must say, most all taxis drivers went over for the long haul or just to check it out, for some it worked well most, not so good.

    Most of these drivers wore clean clothes, pressed shirts and a clean car to this day.

    My self, I believe in 3 years, 2004 we will be back on track in the taxi cab business world wide/ Uber is having a huge money loss it appears in my opinion only, will faultier, we will see.

    Your self, hang in there best you can, as you have. I hope that some of the things that cab drivers / owners are talking about come true for you and all world wide.
    The world as we know it has millions, taxis or not in, sickness, poverty, debt and jobless world wide,\,
    Hugs #Sparky

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A. Rinum says:

      Hi Jarold,
      I’m not a taxi driver. My dad drives a taxi around NYC. I must’ve messed up the accounts when writing on his behalf. But I read your comment to my dad and he appreciates it. He’s planning on leaving the taxi business all together, but its hard for him! That’s all he’s done all his life… but I wish you all the best and keep pushing buddy!


      1. Jarold Waid says:

        Tell your dad this: After driving a yellow taxi cab , nights for 27 years, I for hurt and has to retire, That was the 2nd hardest thing I had ever had to do. How was I going to pay my monthly rent, food gas, bills? Best dam thing I have ever done in my now, 77 years on earth a 1/3 of my life Pissed away in a flash. I understand a small piece of what he is thinking and feeling, God bless his family, Keep safe

        Liked by 1 person

      2. A. Rinum says:

        Great things take time. I read this to my dad and he smiled. Thank you for your encouragement ❤


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