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NYC taxi drivers win historic medallion debt bailout after 15 days on hunger strike

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Yahoo News
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New York City has agreed to expand debt relief for cab drivers after a 2-week hunger strike.

On this edition of Your Call, we'll discuss the historic New York City cab driver medallion debt bailout victory. After a 15-day hunger strike, the city agreed to provided taxi drivers with millions in aid.

Under the agreement, Marblegate Asset Management — the private equity firm that is the largest holder of medallion loans — will restructure loans to a maximum of $200,000, which then decreases to $170,000 with a grant from the city of $30,000. The interest rate will be capped at five percent over a 20-year term, which will amount to monthly payments of $1,122.

Some drivers owe hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans as they've watched the value of their medallions plummet. At least nine drivers have died by suicide as a result of paralyzing debt.

Guest:

Augustine Tang, 37-year-old hunger striker who has been driving a taxi for five years after inheriting his father’s medallion and the $530,000 loan attached to it. Augustine is a member of NY Taxi Workers Alliance and friend of the late Kenny Chow (medallion owner) who was one of the nine drivers that died by suicide

Web Resources:

The City, Samanatha Maldonado: Taxi Drivers Savor Victory as Medallion Debt Bailout Deal Ends Hunger Strike

NYTWA Medallion Debt Forgiveness

Lea is a producer for Your Call on KALW Local Public Radio. She graduated from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY in 2018.
Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular Friday media roundtable guest in 2001.