New York City’s taxi industry is gearing up to propose a cap on so-called black cars as the number of Uber cars outpaces yellow taxis for the first time.
The proposed cap, which is still being drafted, seeks to halt the growth of livery cabs, also known as black cars, until city officials can study the impact they are having on traffic, parking and pollution, said Tweeps Phillips, executive director of Committee for Taxi Safety, an industry group.
The planned cap comes on the heels of new data showing that the number of Uber cars in NYC has outpaced yellow taxis for the first time. There are 14,088 cars, including luxury SUVs, affiliated with Uber in the city’s five boroughs, compared with 13,587 yellow cabs, according to the The Taxi and Limousine Commission.
“It’s remarkable that this one company is able to put vehicles on the road willy-nilly without anyone saying what this means for traffic conditions or parking or the environment,” Phillips said. “It’s like the city fell asleep.”
The rise of Uber is destroying the traditional taxi business, according to this compelling chart from data compiled by the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission. It tracks sale prices of taxi “medallions,” the expensive licenses that give companies the right to operate a yellow cab:
A woman was seen on video being physically thrown from a cab when she was eight months pregnant.
As CBS2’s Valerie Castro reported, the woman claimed the driver’s violent act caused her to deliver her baby five weeks early, and the cabbie remained behind the wheel as of Monday night.
Leslie Cooper said it was a bitter cold night recently when she just wanted to get into a cab and go home to Brooklyn.
She said her cab driver told her his credit card reader was broken. She offered to stop for cash at an ATM in Brooklyn, but she said instead, he told her to get out.
She refused, and said the confrontation then got physical.
Cooper was already inside the yellow cab near 57th Street and Madison Avenue. In a surveillance video, the cab pulls up to the curb and the driver gets out, and minutes later, he walks to the back passenger door and appears to physically pull Cooper from the car.
She is pushed to the ground, and the driver takes off.
“I was just in shock — complete shock,” Cooper said. “I was really worried about my baby.” Continue reading
Medallion Financial CEO Andrew Murstein
Financials from top medallion lender reveal boats and RVs, not cabs, drive profits.
A positive earnings report by Medallion Financial Corp., a major lender to yellow-cab owners, defied the conventional wisdom that technology companies like Uber were taking down the taxi industry. Heads turned in the business media and beyond.
“Medallion profits point to taxi fightback,” blared the Financial Times. “Uber does little to hurt yellow taxi profits,” crowed the New York Post.
Financial analysts seemed to agree. “The media and short-sellers have been screaming that ride-share is going to destroy taxi medallions,” said Larry Meyers of PDL Capital, “yet despite hurricane-force headwinds, medallions show unyielding resilience.”
Well, not exactly. A closer reading of Medallion’s financial statements reveals that loans for taxi-medallion purchases account for less than 20% of its profits. More than 75% are from high-interest loans for luxury purchases such as recreational vehicles and boats. Medallion Financial also provides financing to Greek diners, Chinese laundries and other immigrant-owned businesses. Continue reading
New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission Chair Meera Joshi speaks Friday morning at the New York Law School.
The yellow cab industry is perfectly capable of recovering from a 25-percent decline in the value of taxi medallions despite the onslaught of competition from upstarts like Uber, Taxi & Limousine Commission Chair Meera Joshi insisted today.
Speaking at the New York Law School in Tribeca, Joshi said medallion prices — which peaked at $1.05 million in 2013 before falling to $805,000 late last year — were in an “artificial bubble” created by a few outsized transactions. A fall off from the bubble, combined with new competitors, caused the decline, she acknowledged.
“Frankly, a lesser market would be destroyed,” Joshi said. “The New York City yellow taxi market instead has taken a mild dip, and for those segments adapting through improved driver retention and customer service, rebounding is extremely doable.”
Uber’s plot to disrupt the yellow cab business in the Big Apple has helped bring down the cost of a taxi medallion by 20 percent — but it hasn’t dented the financier of those valuable licenses, the company reported Tuesday.
Medallion Financial Corp., the dominant lender for New York City taxi medallions, reported fourth-quarter profits grew 22 percent from the same period a year earlier.
In addition, while many cab drivers find their medallion investment underwater because of the sharp drop in medallion prices, not a single medallion loan was more than 90 days past due as of Dec. 31, the company said.
Abdul Reshad Fedahi, pictured, was driving the car carrying Simon.
Police say the livery cab — driven by Abdul Reshad Fedahi and carrying the 73-year-old ’60 Minutes’ correspondent — was traveling at high speed when it rear-ended a Mercedes-Benz on the West Side Highway. Police denied reports that Fedahi had suffered a heart attack. But he has a checkered driving record and, sources said, a lead foot. Fedahi’s cousin said he tried to commit suicide in 2004.
The driver of the livery cab that crashed on the West Side Highway and killed “60 Minutes” reporter Bob Simon was a troubled soul with a lead foot.
Abdul Reshad Fedahi, who escaped the deadly wreck with two broken legs and a broken arm, somehow survived an apparent suicide attempt back in 2004 when he leaped from the window of a Brooklyn building after his marriage broke up, sources said Thursday.
“He was on a suicide mission,” his cousin, Rauf Sharif, told The Daily News. “He dropped himself from a building. I don’t know how many floors in Brooklyn. He went through hard days in his life.”
The 44-year-old Afghan immigrant also has a checkered driving record and the home address on his license is a state Department of Homeless Services building.
In September, Fedahi was convicted of driving five miles over the 65 mph speed limit up in Ulster County. And last January, he was convicted of disobeying “a traffic device” in Manhattan, state DMV records show.
Fedahi also had his license suspended nine times since November 2011 for failing to show up in court or answer summonses, records show.