New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced the creation of the city’s first-ever Taxi Medallion Owner-Driver Relief Fund for financially troubled taxi medallion owner-drivers worth $65million.
The Fund, which will be stimulus-dependent, will offer debt relief to taxi medallion owner-drivers whose industry, like that in the UK, has been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mayor de Blasio said: “Medallion owners have been hit hard by this pandemic. They deserve all the support we can give them as ridership recovers.
“This program creates a pathway to solvency and supports the yellow medallion taxi industry’s important role in building a recovery for all of us.”
TLC Chair, Aloysee Heredia Jarmoszuk, said: “I have spoken with many medallion owners, and I hear the pain in their voices.
“They worry about being able to provide for their families, sometimes having to choose between making a loan payment and putting food on the table. This relief fund will give crucial help to an industry that was overleveraged and suffered severe loss of business during COVID-19. As the City’s economy recovers, we want to give medallion owners the support they need to get vehicles back on the streets and handle increased passenger demand.”
The $65million Taxi Medallion Owner-Driver Relief Fund will include:
0% interest loans of up to $20,000 to use as a down payment to assist in restructuring medallion debt.
Up to $9,000 in no-interest loans to make as many as six monthly loan payments of $1,500.
The TLC Owner/Driver Resource Centre will also continue to assist licensees in obtaining stimulus and other benefits, including federal Payroll Protection Plan (PPP) loans that have already helped medallion owners cover business expenses. The application period for PPP loans expires 31 March.
TLC's Resource Centre, which offers a range of free financial counselling and legal assistance for TLC Licensees, as well as connecting them with government benefits and health and wellness resources, has already served nearly 800 licensees.