Nicanor Ochisor, a yellow cab driver and medallion owner for almost 30 years, committed suicide in March, blaming the advent of Transportation Network Companies in New York City for his financial ruin. This comes on the heels of three other driver suicides in the past few months.
Ochisor, 65, was found in the garage of his Maspeth, Queens home. According to authorities, he had backed his home mortgage on his medallion, and planned to use it to finance his retirement – but his dreams faded as the value of medallions plummeted from $1 million to around $180,000 over the past five years. To make matters worse, Ochisor had used the medallion as collateral on his home mortgage, and was going to lose his home, since his revenue had taken a serious hit in recent years.
March 28 on the steps of City Hall to honor Mr Ochisor
“We are deeply distressed to learn that longstanding medallion operator Nicanor Ochisor took his own life,” said TLC Chairwoman Meera Joshi. “To all that he has left behind, his family, friends and his brothers and sisters in the industry, our heartfelt condolences – we mourn with you.”
On February 5, black car driver Douglas Schifter killed himself with a shotgun outside the gates of City Hall. Another suicide victim, livery driver Danilo Castillo penned a lengthy suicide note lamenting the “disastrous” state of the industry on the back of a TLC summons before leaping to his death out of his Manhattan apartment window on Dec. 20. A fourth TLC driver killed himself in February, according to the New York Taxi Workers Alliance. His name was not released.
Source: New York Post