Six taxi drivers in New York City have committed suicide in the last year as ride-sharing companies continue to decimate their industry, The New York Times is reporting.
As a result, the city council approved a cap on Uber and similar companies. The newspaper said New York became the first major city to rein in the use of the vehicles hailed by apps. And the council has also considered action to help reduce the debt many taxi drivers are faced with.
“For the smaller individual medallion owners, what can we do to help them get out from under this crushing debt?” Council Speaker Corey Johnson said. “We’re trying to figure out a way to do that.”
One taxi driver, Lal Singh, told the newspaper he has thought about suicide after going long periods of time without passengers.
“When I hear that somebody did suicide, I was thinking about me,” Singh said. “I’m going to be one of them one day.”
Singh, 62, owes about $6,200 a month on the taxi medallion he purchased 18 years ago.
“When you have nothing to do, we are suffering,” he said. “What are you living for?”
But the desperation felt by some taxi drivers is not just limited to New York City.
Drivers in Chicago also blame ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft for siphoning off customers.
"We were all talking about what happened in New York and how it could happen here," taxi driver Nnamdi Uwazie told NBC News.
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