Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In

Monday’s Headlines: No Wonder Cabbies are Going Bankrupt Edition

12:01 AM EDT on May 20, 2019

The taxi industry. Photo: WCBS

Sunday started with a bombshell, as the New York Times's Brian Rosenthal — he of the still-discussed "expensive tunnel" story in 2017 — unveiled his latest investigative effort: a months-long look into how the New York City taxi medallion market was propped up on bad loans only to pop like the housing bubble during the sub-prime era. The victims? Mostly immigrant cabbies.

“The whole thing was like a Ponzi scheme because it totally depended on the value going up,” said Haywood Miller, a debt specialist, who offered the money quote. “The part that wasn’t fair was the guy who’s buying is an immigrant, maybe someone who couldn’t speak English. They were conned.” America's fairest big city, Mr. Mayor? It doesn't seem like it in Rosenthal's series. (Part II of the investigation is here.)

Pity the poor reporters at the other papers who had to match Rosenthal's report. The Post stuck with the same angle as the Times, while the Daily News added some value with some statistics about the damaging role Lyft and Uber played.

Meanwhile, here was the rest of the news:

    • It was a carnage-filled weekend, with a cabbie killing an 80-year-old on Broome Street on Saturday, and a man crushed by a tractor trailer truck a day earlier, which the Daily News covered. Kudos to the Post's Laura Italiano for pointing out that the cabbie got away with little more than a traffic ticket. Also on Friday, the NYPD reported the May 8 death of 68-year-old pedestrian Maria Ruiz-Amaya, who had been hit by a driver on 108th Street in Queens a week earlier (QNS).
    • The Post gloated a bit too much over the low ridership on the LIRR's new South Fork Commuter Connection. It's only been operating for two months!
    • A federal lawsuit may finally get the MTA to add elevators to stations. (NY1)
    • The News's Clayton Guse wrote about a new company called Charge that wants to install docks for e-scooters so they don't clutter the sidewalks. We're not convinced Charge's plan to put docks in private garages will work without a major public component — which seems unlikely from Mayor de Blasio.
    • It looks like Chuck Schumer has caught President Trump's cold (war). (NY Post, NYDN)
    • And, finally, when are we going to get rid of this untested technology? (NY Post)

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

We Have the ‘End of Days’ Flooding Pics You Need Right Now

It's bad out there. How bad? Here is a citywide roundup from our staff ... and our friends on social media.

September 29, 2023

Labor Gains: Judge Tosses App Giants’ Suit to Stop Deliverista Minimum Wage

Justice Nicholas Moyne cleared the way for a long-delayed wage hike for workers who brave dangerous roads to bring food directly to New Yorkers.

September 29, 2023

Fed Up Bronxites Tell Mayor To Forget About Bus Ride Invitation After Fordham Road ‘Betrayal’

"I really would think that our mayor would be a little bit more active and speak with us, because he hasn't really made any time with riders. We're not the enemy. We just want better bus service."

September 29, 2023

City Pays $150K to Settle Suit Over Cops Who Harassed Man Who Reported Police Parking Misconduct

Justin Sherwood and his lawyer will pocket $152,000 to settle his federal civil rights suit against the city and several officers who harassed him following his 311 calls.

September 28, 2023
See all posts