At Monday’s hearing, several drivers described the challenges of keeping pace with rising costs.
“I work six days a week, 12 to 14 hours a day, just to survive,” said Wain Chin, who supported his family of five for 20 years by driving a taxi. “We need a raise to be able to support our family. So we can send our children to university.
Another driver, Jaime Serrano, who drove a yellow taxi for two decades, says lower costs have risen to further reduce his income. For example, Serrano said the cost of changing his cab’s oil has gone from $30 a decade ago to $60, and taking his cab through the car wash has doubled from $8 to $16.
Mouhamadou Aliyu, a third driver, said the pandemic had compounded his struggle to repay his medallion debt by diminishing an income that was already shrinking due to email companies. Aliyu, who supports her four children, urged the TLC to act quickly to improve the lives of drivers.
“My dream has turned into a nightmare. My life has been ruined for the past ten years,” Aliyu said. “Now is the time to fix this – to make something work better.”
The TLC will hold a second virtual hearing on Tuesday to gather feedback on potential fare increases for drivers using the app.