By Marcelo Fonseca : 48hills – excerpt
Mayors Lee and Newsom sold pricey medallions to make money — then let Uber and Lyft make those investments worthless. The drivers deserve help.
In 2019, in a series of Pulitzer Prize-winning investigations, The New York Times exposed how government officials stood by as a generation of cab drivers was exploited, victimized by predatory lending, trapped with unpayable loans, and driven to poverty and despair:..
The parallels of this human tragedy are all too familiar to San Francisco cab drivers. Former Mayors Gavin Newsom and Ed Lee sold medallions – the licenses that allow an operator to drive a cab — to balance budget deficits. Under Lee’s administration, tens of thousands of quasi-taxi Uber and Lyft vehicles — without medallions — flooded our streets selling rides below cost, which as a result, trapped cab owners with unpayable loans and drove the entire taxi industry into poverty and despair…(more)