NYC taxi strike looms

Marketplace Staff Sep 4, 2007


Doug Krizner: Some taxi drivers in New York City are threatening a two day strike beginning tomorrow. They’re upset over the city’s new law requiring GPS tracking devices and credit card machines in their cabs. Many owners say they can’t afford the $7,000 installation cost for the new system, let alone the operating expenses. Valentin Gegorov, owns his cab in New York CityHe’s already paid money for medallion which allows him to operate in the five boroughs. Valentin, among your new costs will be charges to take payment from credit cards, right?

Valentin Gegorov: You have to pay like around 3 to 5 percent to MasterCard, Visa or American Express. Besides that you gotta pay like $20-30 a month. It’s like having a cell phone.

Krizner: So do you think there’s going to be a strike tomorrow?

Gegorov: I hope so, you know people who know what it’s all about, they should show to the city that what we think matters. I heard yesterday mayor making silly statement that ‘oh we made the commitment, we give them 26 percent raise in the last two years.’ He forgot to mention that ‘we haven’t given raise for eight years.’ Who in America works for eight years without a raise?

Krizner: How much does it cost for a medallion these days in New York City? For you to own a cab, how expensive is that?

Gegorov: A medallion costs half a million dollars right now in New York City. You do the math and figure out how much is going to be the monthly payments if you get a mortgage and all this stuff. It’s a very tough business.

Krizner: Valentin Gegorov is a taxi driver in New York City, thanks so much for talking with us.

Gegorov: My pleasure.

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