Ride-hailing giants Uber have suggested they should bring in a fee on journeys to help New York taxi medallion owners who are struggling to survive in the industry.
Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber CEO, spoke to the New York Post earlier this week who said that he wishes to help taxi owners who purchased medallions when prices were at their peak.
Khosrowshahi said: “In circumstances where medallion owner-operators are having a hard time, where technology has changed and demand patterns has changed their environment, we would support some kind of fee or pool to be formed, a hardship fund, call it,"
Taxi medallions sold in New York have tumbled in value since ride-hailing firms like Uber entered the market. Many medallion owners are now hundreds of thousands of dollars in the red as their value fell from anywhere near $1million to $200,000.
Many within the industry both in New York and further afield blame the recent spate of taxi driver suicides squarely at doors of Uber and other ride-hailing disrupters. Since November 2017 there have been five suicides involving taxi drivers.
Bhairavi Desai, executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, said: "Dara Khosrowshahi's proposals are a slap in the face to struggling drivers and an attempt to get out of being regulated,"