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Colin Quinn Talked To NYC Cab Drivers About The Industry’s Suicide Crisis (HBO)

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Earlier this month, a cash-strapped taxi driver in Queens took his own life. But the tragedy was hardly a unique situation: he was the eighth cab industry suicide in the past year as ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft continue to rise in popularity. Driving a cab and owning your own taxi medallion used to be a path to a comfortable middle-class existence for many New Yorkers, especially immigrants. But since 2012, ride-sharing apps have flooded New York streets with new cars, undercutting yellow cab prices and depressing wages. The value of a medallion, which gives cabbies the exclusive right to pick up street hails, has plummeted from its peak of over a million dollars to less than $200,000 today. It affected the industry across the board — even the president's former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, lost millions after amassing around 30 medallions. But it left some cabbies, who had invested their live savings in buying a medallion and were counting on this as their retirement fund, in complete financial ruin. Colin Quinn, the comedian and life-long New Yorker, is not nostalgic for the days where he was unable to get a cab to take him to Brooklyn. But it pains him to think that this new technology could spell the end for the yellow cab, one of New York City's most iconic sights. VICE News sent Quinn to ride along with some drivers to figure out what happened to them and their livelihood — and what they think the city owes its cab drivers. Subscribe to VICE News here: http://bit.ly/Subscribe-to-VICE-News Check out VICE News for more: http://vicenews.com Follow VICE News here: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vicenews Twitter: https://twitter.com/vicenews Tumblr: http://vicenews.tumblr.com/ Instagram: http://instagram.com/vicenews More videos from the VICE network: https://www.fb.com/vicevideo
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Text Comments (858)
VICE News (2 months ago)
VICE News sent Quinn to ride along with some drivers to figure out what happened to them and their livelihood — and what they think the city owes its cab drivers. NEXT: The Hidden Homelessness Crisis In California - http://bit.ly/2E1fnUK
d945 gcl (16 hours ago)
Nice topic you covered
spreadthelove77 (1 month ago)
o o “stpuid” 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂 You spastic!
spreadthelove77 (1 month ago)
They should have did what the drivers of Copenhagen, Denmark did and ran them out of town. And the only politician in Copenhagen who voted for Uber to come in? The guy can’t get a cab now, coz the original cabbies refuse to pick him up! Now that’s people power in action 👍🏼
Anonymous (2 months ago)
+扁鹊 that's what goebbel's said did you see how deformed goebbels looked? And the rest of the losers around hitler?
o o (2 months ago)
"Vice News sent Quinn..." ugh shut up stpuid
nassi ben (12 days ago)
Easy equation , uber pay nothing to city to enter market + give cheaper price in slow hours to kill the competitors + very higher price in rash hours + Educate customer = make money
Millie Mouse (21 days ago)
Hey Colin you think you felt bad seeing Dominoes in Brooklyn? How do you him we feel seeing it in ITALY??? Outrageous ☹️
Reprogramming Mind (22 days ago)
Not Colin Quinn's best comedy.
Ten Tsering (23 days ago)
Self driving cars is years away and it’s not guaranteed. On top most wont even be able to afford it. So do some research first and then talk. Till then stop complaining and take FHV or SHL or take that dusty ass garbage stinky train broke ass motherfuckers! I’m good with my Toyota Camry 2018 making $1500 a week after expense yee-haw losers!
cheeseboiga (28 days ago)
so uber drivers arent hard working people? this mayor is a goof ball
As sad as this is, this is just the world moving on. Yeah it's gonna disrupt some established systems but when was that ever not normal?
what a shithole we let happen. this is why we need to revolt
Monscent (1 month ago)
VICE actually lets a real comic do something on their platform?! Dont they know hes a white supremacist racist nazi bigot sexist??
lithium (1 month ago)
Uber has yet to make profit, they are just surviving on outside investments until taxi competitions are out of business then they can charge rates that actually make them profit, rates that if they attempted now would allow Taxi Cab drivers to compete.
K Fitz (1 month ago)
Dubbel Gunn's sawk huckas!
Tyler Mikos (1 month ago)
Collin's the man. yellow taxis are over. they should have looked into ride sharing apps/ smart phone apps as early as 2005 (when did smart phones come out?) proof that complacency kills. just bc your the best doesnt meen you should stop building/ exploring. or some kid with a internet cable can design something that will End you.
Mike Vieregge (1 month ago)
Colin Quinn's hatred of Jim Norton makes the world go 'round.
jim lee (1 month ago)
Uber manipulation destroyed local business !
jay hill (1 month ago)
People are so serious
D.E. Sarcarean (1 month ago)
The entire "yellow cab" system was a monopolistic scam. And now they want me to fell bad for them when it collapses? F'em, F'em all.
SLATEcaps (1 month ago)
Colin is top 5 imo.
monster jesse (1 month ago)
Yeah u know I don't like yellow cab but I do feel for the driver struggling
Adam Jones (1 month ago)
What about the old video store owners, Kodak photo shops.. now all food delivery companies are nearly gone. And this trend will continue with many other business yet to fall victim to growing technology if they don’t adapt their business models with the changes.
Werther's Original (1 month ago)
The market has spoken and besides NYC rigged the cab system with a medallion. You know towards the peak those medallions were auctioned off at over $1,000,000. That's a lot of money for a stupid metal plate. As for these immigrants, I'm sorry but you took a capital risk and not all risks pay off. Hence the word risk. Welcome to the market where competition is good. Adapt or die.
amethyst0285 (1 month ago)
0:54 That driver is me when someone tries to strike up conversation.
pastelpurpledeathbed (1 month ago)
Maybe if they weren't so shitty about their jobs, this wouldn't happen.
Shreddie Krueger (1 month ago)
I know the one guy is transylvanian but the ali guy looks like nosferatu. Also I loved when colin introduced himself to osama bin laden and got no response in return. I love NY
MrLarrybill (1 month ago)
Just here for Colin
CRaig west (1 month ago)
why dont they become uber drivers....
RSS2 (1 month ago)
Bring back Tough Crowd! Our country needs it more than ever!
Johns Corey (1 month ago)
The hell with the yellow cab
Bob Bobbington (1 month ago)
i love colin quinn. seems like a really good dude.
Greg Brenner (1 month ago)
Bring back Tough Crowd!!!
metal face (1 month ago)
Id rather watch him talk to a back alley tunisian knife fighter
Truthsabre7 (1 month ago)
Does cab drivers need to read the book who moved my cheese.
Truthsabre7 (1 month ago)
the killing themselves for two reasons no one they made a bad investment in buying a medallion and number two they haven't changed with the industry.
DJ Jackson (1 month ago)
If Lyft & Uber didn't crush the cab industry now, self driven cars of the future would have.
JayLeePoe (1 month ago)
Driver is the next dead job
Powerful Young Moses (1 month ago)
Hey everybody this taxi driver wants a VOSS water !!!!
Barf Face (1 month ago)
NO. It's your turn to do the dishes.
Frank Ortiz II (1 month ago)
This piece is a bunch of crap. High priced behind the times cabs that big cities screw with a giant racket refused to get with the times before it was too late. Now these big cities like New York and Chicago pretend to feel bad for the industry. Like we are too dumb to notice that they’re really mad that they couldn’t stick their corrupt hands into someone else’s cookie jar. Taxi companies need to stand up and stop letting municipalities give it to them hard. Saying it’s Uber and Lyft’s faults are like saying it’s GM and Ford’s faults that we don’t use horse and carriage anymore. Anyone that pretends to feel sorry for the cab companies is either lying or has their fingers crossed behind their back.
noamshouseparty (1 month ago)
Everyone is worried that they won't see the iconic yellow cabs anymore, but there's no mention of the ruined lives and growing rates of suicide. Nostalgia is more important than people?
Mathew Mara (1 month ago)
These cab drivers sound like the hillbillys from South Park. "They took our job!"
darique warren (1 month ago)
There are cab services. Plug for day and nite car service
Imight Realperson (1 month ago)
cruisin colin
JGCameron (1 month ago)
I was hoping Colin would interview a cabbie who used to be a back ally Tunisian knife fighter or a Corsican Pimp from the Marseilles water front.
Mark King (1 month ago)
Americas about competition it doesn’t surprise me that non-Americans don’t understand that
Daniel 1 (1 month ago)
Seems to mostly effect annoying, privleged immigrants. Could care less, but great idea getting Colin to help push pointless liberal propaganda!
JoC 2091 (1 month ago)
Back alley tunisian knife fighter
Primary Simcha Felder (1 month ago)
I feel bad for the mom and pop pizza place losing out to a dominos. Yellow taxis can go the way of the dodo
Mr. D (1 month ago)
FK ALL these Yellow Cab Drivers the UBER driver said it right @ 2:08 100% spot on with EVERYTHING he said....Now look at the UBER drivers car and look at the Yellow Cabbies car.... Which one would you rather sit in and relax to your destination....Its NO comparison....and the price is FAR BETTER!!!
Thank you, Mr. Quinn. All drivers can be fairly compensated, through regulation. Rideshare drivers are also driving themselves into debt, despair, and suicide. How do people expect to taxi drivers to "compete in the free market" when rideshare companies are operating at huge loss year after year after year? How do you "compete" with a company giving it away for free?
KandaPanda (1 month ago)
I don't care. Not only do we not have cabs here at all (so this industry is a city issue and not in my city) but this is the *same goddamn story* we hear over and over again. Ups/FedEx = USPS workers work less and get paid less Self checkout lanes = less checkers and courtesy clerks getting a pay check Automated operators on the phone = no people getting paid to do the job ATMs = less branches open and less bank employees paid *_this is how capitalism works. Can we please stop pretending like this is tragic or unique?_* Times change, move on or don't...its your call. How do you think the people who owned Blockbuster stores felt when Redbox showed up? They didnt have any other income either and running a chain of brick and mortar stores cost far more than a cab medallion, lets be real.
Paul Seager (1 month ago)
Lol at all the uni educated snobes snidely talking down their plight with inane quips such as “business is business” and “adapt or die!” You’ll soon be on the redundancy list when automation comes, medium to high paying jobs will be the first to go
kingjappyjoe420 (1 month ago)
I will never feel bad for taxis the amount of times they try to rip you off
J-Boogie Brown (1 month ago)
What's OTB?
Jen Mercury (1 month ago)
Why can't they evolve with the times, and stop feeling sorry for themselves?
Noneya Business (1 month ago)
Wait until uber tries to go public and they find out they're essentially bankrupt. The only way they can even break even is to double the fare.
SoundboyEric (1 month ago)
why did it take so long to get colin on here??? in before some shit i didnt know about
Marc G (1 month ago)
The politicians fucked the taxi drivers totally, now they pretend they want to fix it when its totally unfixable
Danny Ferguson (1 month ago)
Divide and conquer. Uber drivers will never offer as much resistance.
ChunKeyPeachezz Z (1 month ago)
We once rode horses.. now we drive cars We once took cabs now we ride Uber’s
howaboutit11 (1 month ago)
Colin you’re too good for vice
mdoe30 (1 month ago)
The brilliant Colin Quinn!
Discrete Entropy (1 month ago)
Creative destruction...
T U (1 month ago)
Good job Colin
saint jack (1 month ago)
what happened to Irish American cabbies from Queens.
Bill Owen (1 month ago)
Well done Colin. I hope this leads to more NYC videos with you!
Gg Ff (1 month ago)
Problem with taxi drivers there no fuckin fun anymore can hardly speak English
Likwid Ayshun (1 month ago)
I was waiting for Quinn to hit them with some savage zingers. Shut up dummy!
Rod Angles (1 month ago)
I Blame Louie DePalma
Swapster .com (1 month ago)
The medallion owners should be able to bring a lawsuit against the city for making them pay such a high amount for an exclusive right to drive people... and then failing to protect that exclusive right. They got the money, but they did NOTHING to earn it. When you pay the mafia for protection, you can expect to be protected. Government is mafia. Taxation is theft.
Robert Gaines (1 month ago)
That awkward moment when you can't grasp government created artificial scarcity is the real problem. At least the government doesn't meddle with NY rent prices causing... oh wait...
GEOVANNE RAMOS (1 month ago)
Go back to washing dishes ! Lol
OtayOtay2018 (1 month ago)
Can't beat em join em?
Zarkow (1 month ago)
The medallions was to ensure the mafia had a system of control together with local politicians - I am not sad to see that government intrusion into the market place get dented.
slorollintrain208 (1 month ago)
there’s no rickshaw drivers in New York. you adapt with the times or you kick rocks.
CDXX (1 month ago)
Buy a taxi plate for half a million, or rent a taxi and pay the owner $300-$400+ dollars a week.. Or download an app, sign up, and drive an Uber or Lyft.. Which seem's more logical to you?
thy don't pay nothing....it is good grammar with wrong meaning.
Meadowlark Lemon (1 month ago)
What you got me talking through this little window for? What am I? Wanted for petty larceny in Chappaquiddick? Hrm.
Tom Delay Beats (1 month ago)
colin quinn - one of the most unfunny comedians in the history of comedy.
ibieiniid (1 month ago)
Jello cab will lib!
TheCrusaderRabbits (1 month ago)
It's called capitalism
Brendissimo (1 month ago)
If it's anything like it was here in San Francisco, Uber and Lyft have been a huge improvement. Cabs had a state sanctioned monopoly, and still I cant count the number of times they wouldn't go to my neighborhood, or wanted to negotiate a price instead of relying on the meter. They squandered their position of privilege. I do think there is merit in having professional drivers - many Uber drivers dont know their way around SF and just rely on the maps app, whereas Taxi drivers must know their way around. And I appreciate being able to simply hail a cab (when one is around). But ultimately, taxis have been a stagnant city sanctioned monopoly in most American cities, and they thought no competition would ever come along, and treated customers accordingly. They were wrong.
T0nyMc420 (1 month ago)
Love Colin Quinn...hate VICE😑
Christine Harding (1 month ago)
I do not like vice,but I love Collin Quinn!
DJ Cutz (1 month ago)
Problem Solver: All Cab will be able to pick Uber & Lyft Passengers.
Terry Manning (1 month ago)
Wait until driver-less cars put Truckers out of business
W S (1 month ago)
This is free markets system. You adapt or the competition puts you out of business.
Kirby Dinglebear (1 month ago)
I just love all the excessive traffic that uber and lyft create ! I LOVE a packed street !
Kevin Stempien (1 month ago)
Uber and Lyft drivers aren't safe either. Ultimately a temporary service until autonomous vehicles becomes the norm. Pay a monthly fee like Netflix and a vehicle picks you up and drops you off. Years down the road essentially vehicle ownership will be dramatically low and parking lots and parking garages will be removed since there isn't a need for vehicles to park. You only need drop off and pick up lanes.
jimmydiresta (1 month ago)
I can not feel sorry for the yellows. They need to roll with the changes. All the cabs are always dirty and too cramped and never smell pleasant. They always had a “take it I’d leave it” attitude if they stopped at all.
jimmydiresta (1 month ago)
I do believe the city should buy out the medallions.. a system they put in place. Let the city become all Uber and then regulate the entire lot again. 🤔
Brandon Walton (1 month ago)
Love Colin! Tough Crowd forever
maine.ale (1 month ago)
I'll watch anything featuring Colin Quinn.
metatechnocrat (1 month ago)
Love how the title is about cabbie suicides and the thumbnail has them all smiles in it. wtf
I feel no remorse for taxis. I barely make any money and they charge an arm and a leg for going just a mere couple blocks. Uber and Lyft is a Godsend for people like myself.
eid811 (1 month ago)
I'm sure there were plenty of blockbuster franchise owners who went broke.
Main Road (1 month ago)
Mr New York Colin Quinn. The mayor of it all. Getting up close and personal with his people. He'll figure it all out one day just you wait and see
killervacuum (1 month ago)
uber or lyft should offer to pay off these people's debts in exchange for a multi-year contract
sam E (1 month ago)
Quinn is a documentarian now? Lol give me a break! Rich Vos would have made this way funnier, just sayin!
Iwon (1 month ago)
I worked for a retail chain where we made commission when amazon came we made shit.. i just kept going to school and changed my career!
Iwon (1 month ago)
Every industry is hurting! Retail, grocery, auto part stores... every one is having to adjust .. technology of today is like the industrial revolution
Iwon (1 month ago)
Boooo hooo!
Carr Rexx (1 month ago)
Remarkably, We still have a United States Postal Service. Thank God.

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