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2018-08-18 23:28
Kenny Chow was one of six taxi drivers that chose to commit suicide in the last six months. He died at the age of 56. He entered the taxi industry with his brother Richard Chow 10 years ago. He had to borrow money from the bank to be able to pay for a taxi medallion. “Due to the prosperity of ride-sharing services, the traditional taxi business decreases,” said Richard. Richard Chow: “He borrowed money from the bank to buy the medallion, for 700,000 US dollars. The business was good at the beginning, in recent 5 years, he started to earn less and less.” Eventually, Kenny fell behind on medallion loan payments. Along with personal health problems and debt, he fell into despair. Every taxi driver in New York City is required to own a medallion. The medallion system regulates pricing and limits the numbers of taxis on New York City streets. The yellow taxi was once capped for many years, causing the medallion to increase in value. Five years ago, they were changing hands at a price reaching $1 million dollars. Since Uber and other rideshare companies entered the market, the value of the medallion has fallen to around $200,000. The emergence of Uber has changed the way people live. Passengers do not have to go to the streets to hail a cab. New Yorker Laurence: “I can use the app and I will have the driver come to me. I will be able to pay on the app, rather than cash. the other convenient part about Uber is that the driver already knows where I want to go by the time they come to me.”