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Credit Union Holding Taxi Medallion Loans Shutters, Leaving Drivers in Limbo

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For years, taxi drivers in New York City, many of them immigrants, have taken out loans against their taxi medallions, the treasured city documents that allow drivers to legally operate a taxicab. A taxi medallion was viewed as safe and secure collateral for those loans.

Since 2013, however, and the arrival of app-based ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft, the value of those medallions has plummeted and along with it the fate of the biggest holder of medallion loans, Queens-based Melrose Credit Union. Paired with a history of mismanagement, the downturn shoved Melrose to the brink of collapse, and in February of last year, it was officially placed into NCUA stewardship, the federal agency that oversees credit unions.

In a little-noticed statement last month, the NCUA announced that it had “made the decision to liquidate Melrose and discontinue its operations after determining the credit union was insolvent and had no prospect for restoring viable operations.” Many of Melrose’s assets and liabilities were transferred to the Teachers Federal Credit Union (TFCU). But an NCUA spokesman John Fairbanks confirmed that the medallion loans had not. Instead, they have remained with the federal government for servicing and collection.

That has left the future of perhaps as much as $833 million in loans in doubt as well as that of the often desperate drivers who borrowed against their medallions.

“The NCUA’s Asset Management and Assistance Center is managing the portfolio of taxi-medallion-secured loans, which includes servicing,” Fairbanks wrote in an email to Documented. He said that Melrose members had been notified about the liquidation, but declined to discuss whether the terms of any loans had changed, saying the information was confidential.

The exact number and total value of outstanding medallion-backed loans isn’t clear. Documents filed by Melrose with the NCUA in June listed 2,682 “non-real estate secured commercial loans,” which Fairbanks confirmed is the designation that taxi medallion-secured loans would fall under. Given Melrose’s history in the taxi medallion business, it’s likely most if not all of these are medallion-backed loans. Melrose listed their total value at just over $833 million, down from $1.24 billion in June of last year.

Whether the medallions are now worth more or less than the debt isn’t clear. But many drivers took out loans in the six figures. The drop in medallion values could mean that many drivers are under water on the loans—meaning they owe more than the medallions are worth. Many in the taxi industry say such financial distress contributed to a rash of driver suicides over the summer.

The New York City Council recently passed measures limiting the proliferation of app-based for-hire vehicles, but the changes might only slow the medallions’ devaluation, not stop it. Drivers have also complained that Melrose became less receptive to renegotiation after it fell under the stewardship of the federal government.

Standing outside a City Council committee on for-hire vehicles hearing on Tuesday, Bhairavi Desai, the president of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance — a union that represents 18,000 drivers — said that “once [Melrose] was taken over by the government, it became more aggressive. It was uncooperative with the drivers.” Desai said she didn’t yet know whether the NCUA directly would be more open to negotiation.

That Council committee hearing included the introductions of multiple bills related to taxi drivers. These include Int 1069-2018, which calls for the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC), the body that regulates the industry in New York City, to “study the problem of medallion owners with excessive debt due to the decline in medallion value” and then “determine appropriate actions to address such problem;” and Int 1081-2018, which would require the TLC to “establish one or more driver assistance centers to provide services and information to drivers, including financial counseling, mental health counseling and referrals to non-profit organizations for additional assistance.”

If these bills were to become law, they could task the TLC with assisting drivers and acting as a de facto middleman between taxi drivers drowning in debt and the federal government. In an email, a spokeswoman for the TLC said it was “too early” to gauge the impact that the Melrose dissolution might have on drivers or on the agency.

Manhattan Council member Mark Levine, who introduced the TLC study bill and co-founded and ran a community credit union before his election, said that NCUA itself was “partly culpable” for Melrose’s travails by allowing such a concentration of medallion-backed debt to be held in one place. “In order to sell these loans to a responsible lender, [NCUA] are going to have to give that institution the flexibility to refinance them, which could be a lifesaver for the drivers but also could be good for the institution long-term,” Levine said.

Levine said he hadn’t yet spoken directly to anyone at NCUA about their plans, but that it was his understanding that TFCU had refused to accept the medallion-backed loans. The TFCU did not return requests for comment; a voicemail message left with the legal department at Melrose was not answered.

“That’s only going to tighten the vise on drivers, and the fact that [TFCU] refused these assets as part of their assumption of the failed Melrose Credit Union should make us worried that these loans are going to be stuck with NCUA indefinitely,” Levine said.

Source: https://documentedny.com/2018/09/19/credit-union-holding-taxi-medallion-loans-shutters-leaving-drivers-in-limbo/

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Uber, lyft and other taxis

The debate on car seats for taxis and ride-sharing services

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Like many parents in New York, Caroline Hwang doesn’t use a car seat when traveling with her son in a taxi.

“It’s a calculated risk, because you’re not going very fast and the chances of you being in a serious high-speed collision are pretty low,” she said.

Research from Virginia Tech University finds New York is among 35 states where cabs are exempt from laws that require young children to travel in a car seat. Except for Georgia, it’s not clear if ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft are also exempt. In the other 15 states, children must have a car seat in all for-hire vehicles.

“There’s a lot of confusion that parents experience when they want to carry their children using rideshare services. The laws across the nation are inconsistent from state to state,” said Justin Owens with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.

Owens says in many states that require car seats, it’s not clear if the parent or driver needs to provide them.

“State legislatures really need to work on catching up the laws and regulations.”
In New York City, Uber will have a driver like Rafael Serrano provide a forward-facing car seat for an extra $10. Lyft has a similar program, but also, only in New York City.

“It’s super safe and reliable, so I’d rather have the kids safe than sorry you know,” Serrano said.

Uber and Lyft both tell us that drivers and riders in the rest of the country need to follow all local laws and drivers can turn down riders who do not provide a proper child safety seat.

Source: https://www.wdtv.com/content/news/The-debate-on-car-seats-for-taxis-and-ride-sharing-services–499967641.html

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Politics

Voting Today Can Get You A Bunch Of Free Stuff

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Today is election day in the US and with comes not only an opportunity to exercise your civic responsibility, right and privilege, but also to get a bunch of free food and services. Although ideally people would vote even if they didn’t get a free side of fries in return, it’s good that people are going to get to the polls somehow.

Uber and Lyft are both offering discounts today, taking their political rivalry to the next level. Uber, you may remember, has been boycotted after showing inadvertent support for Trump.

The company declined to participate in a work stoppage that New York taxi drivers were engaged in to protest Trumps travel ban. Lyft became the service of choice for many people after the #deleteuber movement took hold. Now, both companies are offering deals on rides to the polls.

Uber’s is a discount only for first-time users if they put in a special election day code and Lyft is giving across the board 50% discounts for those going to vote.

Source: https://www.hotnewhiphop.com/voting-today-can-get-you-a-bunch-of-free-stuff-news.63937.html

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Uber, lyft and other taxis

Global Taxi & Limousine Software Market Size – TaxiCaller, TaxiStartup, MTData

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Researchvector has launched a report on the Taxi & Limousine Software Market that predicts future market trends and current market trends. It includes analytic data of the Taxi & Limousine Software Market about growth rate, market trends, profitability, manufacturers, historical data, popular regions, etc. The valuable in-depth research report created by the skilled industry experts, who are experienced in this industry.

The general idea of the Researchvector research team that the report comes in handy for those who are planning to start a business or someone who is planning to expand the business.
Top Four Important Market Parameters for Taxi & Limousine Software Market
Every industry has vital factors that drive it to the growth and maximise the profits, cut down the costs, and furthermore. But in Taxi & Limousine Software Market, there are important parameters that every reader should learn about it.

Market Players: We have leading manufacturers in the market, and they make an impact on the Taxi & Limousine Software Market globally. Only a fewer people pay attention to the emerging players, and Researchvector includes a list of emerging players with some secret strategies of competitors.

  • TaxiCaller
  • TaxiStartup
  • MTData
  • Taximobility
  • Limo Anywhere
  • Samsride Inc.

Categorical Division: You can access the information on the products with the categories of the products.

  • Cloud-based
  • On-premises

Application Usage: The application usage information provides in-depth information on the customer experience, and it can help you identify the problems and provide solutions to it. The end-user experience offers detailed errors in the products and the flaws, and you can fix them in the next stage.

  • Small Business
  • Midsize Enterprise
  • Large Enterprise
  • Other

Geographical Division: You gain knowledge of the top performing regions, and the details region includes countries, states, and cities.

  • United States
  • Europe
  • China
  • Japan
  • Southeast Asia
  • India

Why read market research reports by Researchvector?

Researchvector Inc Market Research Organization has worked on various markets before, and they have added a lot of value to the readers by using internationally acknowledged methodologies. They have a massive list of clientele, some of the companies like PayPal, Dropbox, Sony, and the list keep goes on. Researchvector adds tremendous value to your knowledge bank by providing you information on profitability and accelerates growth. Researchvector Inc is adept at researching and digging out analytic information that explains the market.

Core Objective of Taxi & Limousine Software Market

Every company in the Taxi & Limousine Software Market has objectives and the Researchvector market research report focus on the core objectives of the Taxi & Limousine Software Market, so you can learn about competition, future market, favourite products, and informative knowledge that can boost your sales volume exponentially.

  • Size of the market and growth rate factors of Taxi & Limousine Software Market.
  • Significant changes in the upcoming Taxi & Limousine Software Market.
  • Top global competitors of Taxi & Limousine Software Market.
  • Scope and product overview of Taxi & Limousine Software Market 2018-2025.
  • Growing regions with potential growth in the future.
  • Challenges faced in Taxi & Limousine Software Market.
  • Global Taxi & Limousine Software top vendors profile and sales statistics.
  • Dynamics of Taxi & Limousine Software Market 2018-2025.
  • Questions Answered for Taxi & Limousine Software Market

There are many questions that we have in our mind when we think of the competition and unknown factors that invites cash burning, and we learn it the hard way. Researchvector Inc has counted those questions, and they used the market research report to answer the all-important questions of the Taxi & Limousine Software Market.

  • What is the development rate of the Taxi & Limousine Software Market in 2018-2025?
  • What will be the future market size of the Taxi & Limousine Software Market?
  • Who are the top leading companies in the Taxi & Limousine Software Market?
  • Who are global manufacturers in the Taxi & Limousine Software Market?
  • What are the major Taxi & Limousine Software Market Trends 2018-2025?
  • What are the challenges faced in the Taxi & Limousine Software Market?
  • What are the conclusions of the Taxi & Limousine Software Market report?

Source: https://sportsalexa.com/taxi-limousine-software-market-research-report/100569/

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