New York to Spend $65 Million to Rescue Cab Drivers. Is It Enough?
Several lenders, including the largest holder of medallion loans, the private equity firm Marblegate Asset Management, have already indicated that they would be willing to whittle loans to a range of about $250,000 to $300,000 in exchange for a down payment.On Tuesday, a Marblegate spokesman applauded the plan. “This proposal recognizes that taxis are a […]

Several lenders, including the largest holder of medallion loans, the private equity firm Marblegate Asset Management, have already indicated that they would be willing to whittle loans to a range of about $250,000 to $300,000 in exchange for a down payment.

On Tuesday, a Marblegate spokesman applauded the plan. “This proposal recognizes that taxis are a critical part of New York City’s infrastructure, and provides owner-drivers meaningful relief that will help them restructure their loans — lowering their monthly payments and bolstering their economic prospects, while stabilizing the industry,” he said.

Aloysee Heredia Jarmoszuk, the head of the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission, which oversees the industry, said during the news conference that she had already spoken with several lenders.

“I expect the lenders will participate,” said Ms. Heredia Jarmoszuk, who was appointed by the mayor last year in part to fix the crisis. “We believe this program is a win-win for everyone.”

Advocates for taxi drivers said they, too, expect lenders to participate. But they said that was because the plan was a windfall for the banks without helping the drivers.

“All that this plan is going to do is going to get immediate cash into the hands of the lenders, while the risk remains on the borrowers’ necks,” said Bhairavi Desai, the head of the Taxi Workers Alliance, which represents drivers. “This is absolutely a bailout — for the lenders. It does nothing to help the borrowers.”

Several members of the City Council also criticized the mayor’s plan, saying they had not been consulted before it was announced. Stephen Levin, a Brooklyn Democratic councilman who served on a task force that studied the issue last year, said the task force’s original plan would have provided much more relief at a lower cost.

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