NEW YORK (WABC) –
The New York coroner has discovered that the death of a cab driver in Queens earlier this month was suspended by hanging. He was the eighth driver to be killed by suicide this year.
58-year-old Roy Kim hanged himself on a belt in his home in Bayside on 5 November.
Kim had more than $ 500,000 in debt after buying a taxi medallion a few years ago.
The New York Taxi Workers Alliance said Kim is the third yellow taxi driver to be killed by suicide.
Bhairavi Desai, Executive Director of the Alliance, issued a statement saying, "Friends described Roy Kim as hardworking, quiet, and worthy. One week to 14 hours a day: Friends from his community of Korean yellow taxi drivers took him to the Ownership drivers had experienced a deep and vicious withdrawal of the middle class into poverty in a few years. "
Desai urged banks and lenders to work together with the city and philanthropy to bring the medallion to the food To support drivers financially.
"I just do not think we've ever experienced a crisis as we see it today," said Desai
Supporters say the deaths point to ongoing hardships facing drivers since the advent of apps for Driving chases face.
They say that drivers are in despair because driving cameras have flooded the streets of the city with cars, making it difficult for motorists to make a living.
"The yellow taxi industry is in crisis, and we should be responsible for being part of the solution." said the New York City Council Ydanis Rodriguez.
On Wednesday, the city council formed a working group to investigate the plight of the yellow taxi drivers, whose numbers were dwarfed by people like Uber and Lyft about eight to one.
"A majority of drivers do this job as a full-time job, but the business model takes that full-time job into part-time gig work," said Desai. "Now they are really falling into poverty overnight."
The New York City Council approved a temporary limit on rides licenses in August, but there are already more than 1
Proponents say the tide of cars is forcing drivers to to fight for scarce fares. In the meantime, the value of the medallions required to run a yellow taxi has dropped from over $ 1 million to $ 200,000, forcing some medallion owners into bankruptcy.
"The for-hire vehicle industry is in deep crisis" Affected by thousands of independent families in our city, "the Independent Drivers Guild said in a statement," Years of minimum pay, rising bills, exploitative bosses and shift punishments have demanded a big toll from the rental drivers of our city. "
The Guild encouraged drivers who feel depressed or desperate to get to NYC and said it is developing a mental health and wellbeing program in the coming months
(The Associated Press Contributed to This Report.)
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