This story was originally published on JUN 2, 2021 by THE CITY

By Christine Chung and Maher Sattar for THE CITY

Some seeking office have been shaped by family suffering in the yellow-cab medallion financial collapse — or their own experiences driving cabs. They say only a bold bailout will avoid calamity

A new generation of South Asian City Council candidates is reviving momentum to support cab drivers in crisis, after a year of little action to pull them out of staggering debt.

The candidate lineup includes a taxi driver and an organizer running in Brooklyn and two daughters of drivers in Queens.

Bhairavi Desai, executive director of the 21,000-driver New York Taxi Workers Alliance, said the Council hopefuls represent a “fighting chance” for cab drivers.

“They’ve seen their parents struggle or they themselves struggle and they’ve seen the necessity for working-class voices,” Desai said.

Prior to the pandemic, the taxi industry was already in freefall. The resale price of city-issued taxi medallion permits zoomed to over $1 million, only to plummet as Uber and other ride-hailing services zipped in. continue reading

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