Starting last Sunday, dozens of New Yorkers and some Queens elected officials gathered outside of City Hall to demand Mayor Bill de Blasio implement the New York Taxi Workers’ Alliance (NYTWA) medallion debt forgiveness plan.
The medallion system is a way of regulating the number of taxi cabs in New York City. The city can sell permits and constrain the supply of taxi cabs. Taxi medallions used to be sold for more than $1 million, now go for as low as $160,000, according to NPR. This drop in value can be credited to the introduction of unregulated companies like Uber and Lyft, which led to debt for many medallion owners.