New York City taxi drivers hold rally after 5th suicide in 5 months

LOWER MANHATTAN, Manhattan (WABC) -- Members of the New York City Taxi Workers Alliance gathered outside of City Hall Tuesday to protest for better laws that protect drivers' ability to make a living.

Five taxi drivers have killed themselves in just over five months, and many say the suicides were because these drivers could no longer make ends meet.

Kenny Chow was identified as the latest driver to commit suicide. The 56-year-old had a wife and children, and he owed $560,000 on a medallion worth less than $200,000.

"So many people told stories of him not being able to keep up with his medallion payments whenever he was at the airport," said Bhairavi Desai, with the New York Taxi Drivers Alliance.

Yellow cab drivers have seen the business upended in recent years with the advent of Uber and other ride-sharing apps. Many have been left struggling.

"You now have a vicious race to the bottom where no driver can survive," Desai said. "We need the same minimum rate of fare across this industry so no company can go lower and all drivers can benefit whenever there's a raise."

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