NYC taxi drivers call for action after 5th suicide in 5 months

UPPER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- A group of taxi drivers gathered in Manhattan on Monday to remember a fellow cab driver who committed suicide.

Kenny Chow was the fifth New York City taxi driver to kill himself in the past five months.

The group gathered near the East River to remember their friend the day before they will call for action against the changing industry.

Chow, 56, had a wife and children whom he could no longer support. 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. And many have been left struggling.

"You now have a vicious race to the bottom where no driver can survive," Desai said.

Drivers will rally at City Hall on Tuesday to try and convince the City Council to level the playing field and make all services play by the same rules.

"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," Desai said.

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