The pandemic is affecting the economy in a very clear way and, a consequence derived from this, is reflected in the decrease in mobility. Confinement and the risk of contagion has significantly reduced the number of trips, especially on public or shared transport, such as taxis. In case of New York confirms the crisis that the taxi union is going through throughout the world. In the city of skyscrapers the famous yellow cars are running at 10%. Before the pandemic started, there were 11,435 taxis in the city, according to the agency that regulates the sector, while at the worst moment of the health crisis, the number of vehicles was 2,200 and, worst of all, the figures they have not recovered yet.
The billing figures have not been recovered either, far removed from the months prior to the coronavirus. Taxi drivers who continue to operate in New York state that they enter about 54 dollars a day (49 euros), less than half that before confinement. In addition, according to the union that brings together taxi drivers, they say that 80% of drivers cannot pay for the shopping cart. So much so that there have already been 11 suicides as a result of the dramatic situation.
For their part, from the Taxi and Lomousine Commission, they assure that they are looking for credit channels to be able to sustain the taxi business. However, the owners assure that the bankruptcies will continue since, according to The New York Times, around the famous yellow cars a speculative bubble was created that has ended up bursting due to the pandemic. Apparently the prices of medallions have skyrocketed since Michael Bloomberg was mayor of the city. Currently, the prices at which they are traded have fallen to levels of 15 years ago. Therefore, selling the license would not be enough to pay off the debt incurred.
The crisis is long
In 2014, the price of these licenses was 1.3 million dollars (1.1 million euros), in 2016, their price dropped to 250,000 dollars (213,500 euros). While now they are already below $ 150,000 (128,000 euros). This means that the taxi drivers who asked for a loan to be able to get one of these medallions before 2014 they have lost a large amount of value. Therefore, even if they sold their licenses now, they would not be able to satisfy their debts.