This past Friday, NYC officials proposed that the city adopt the same surge pricing method that Uber and Lyft have used in the past in order to compete with the ride-sharing marketplace. This is another last ditch effort by advocates to help NYC yellow cab drivers recoup some of the debt from their investments in taxi medallions.
According to the Taxi Medallion Taxi Force, Medallions prices have decreased from $1.25 million in 2012 to $188,000 by 2018. Quite a significant drop, especially when this was many people’s entire livelihoods and retirement plan. Since the drastic price decrease, 950 medallion owners have had to file for bankruptcy with some owners even taking their own lives from the despair.
City Councilmen Ydanis Rodriguez and Stephen Levin, wrote in a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio that “During our discussions, it became abundantly clear that the medallion taxi industry in our city is in a state of crisis, and the time to take urgent, bold action to remedy the situation is now”.
This is not the first-time advocates have tried to remedy the medallion crisis in NYC. Just recently a bailout proposal for medallion owners was brought before the city. Before that, Uber and Lyft joined forces to propose a plan to help rectify the damage they caused.
If NYC allows taxi cabs to enact surge pricing, this will be the first time a solution for NYC taxi cabs will be enforced and it will affect all passengers who use the famous yellow cabs. Furthermore, NYC will be one of the first cities in the United States to allow their cabs to raise prices depending on demand.
The surge pricing proposal is bound to be controversial as riders have never taken kindly to the method when Uber and Lyft used it. Now Uber and Lyft use an upfront pricing method that riders seem to like a little better though the price will still change on demand.
Are you a NYC cab driver? What are your feelings on allowing surge pricing within yellow cabs?