Mayor Bill de Blasio in March announced New York City would launch a relief plan for taxi medallion owners and drivers to restructure medallion debt and offer payment support. The new program is a $65 million relief fund created through federal stimulus, designed to financially support struggling owner-drivers.
“Taxi drivers have been through so much,” de Blasio said. “Especially, of course during the pandemic where the industry has been hit so hard, and during that time… taxi drivers stepped up and helped our community.”
Under the new program, money is set to be provided directly to drivers, along with assistance restructuring their loans to make them more affordable. Up to $20,000 loans will be offered to restructure medallion debt and an additional $9,000 will be offered in debt payment support.
Owners can pay this money back over time at 0% interest, based on their individual ability, according to Aloysee Heredia Jarmoszuk, Chair of the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC). The relief fund allows the city to step up to support owner-drivers, and de Blasio said lenders should do the same.
After the mayor’s announcement, the New York Taxi Workers Alliance Tweeted that the relief fund does “absolutely nothing for us,” and called it “a disgraceful betrayal from a city that already has blood on its hands.”
A vast outreach campaign has been set up to maximize enrollment in the Paycheck Protection Program and owners have been advised to visit the TLC website for further assistance from the city’s TLC resource center. Medallion owners in need of assistance or interested in the program should email: [email protected].
Source: 1010 Wins