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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 (849)
VICE News (6 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 (4 months ago)
Nice topic you covered
spreadthelove77 (5 months ago)
o o “stpuid” 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂 You spastic!
spreadthelove77 (5 months 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 (6 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 (6 months ago)
"Vice News sent Quinn..." ugh shut up stpuid
aries 44 (5 days ago)
Vancouver has only cabs and the cab drivers are terrible and expensive. Being rude and unprofessional seems to be in their job description.
BLAH VIDEO (15 days ago)
🤔 What does 3.6 passengers mean? Like 3 full body passengers and a 4th with missing legs?
Content of Character (24 days ago)
Never trust government to provide for you. The government promised these medallion owners that they would not allow any competition and therefore protect the inflated prices of their medallions. Once again the government lied. It should’ve been a free market system from the get go and this would not be an issue.
JessieSimone (27 days ago)
NO SYMPATHY for these guys. Daily and routinely, they passed by Black ppl who tried to get in and tbought nothing of it. The banks gave them, AND ONLY THEM, the loans they needed to purchase those Medallions and not Blavk residents. So, Black New Yorkers never attempted to purchase one to support their families, ever??? It was a racist bull$h!t monopoly they had on the industry. Uber/Lift equals the playing field.
CountBifford (29 days ago)
These taxi drivers want the government to artificially prop up their obsolete business model at the expense of everybody else. I mean, the nerve of that one guy who said "He can go back to washing dishes".
Mr Zeus (1 month ago)
BYE BYE YELLOW CABS....... EVOLUTION
Maverick Xander (1 month ago)
The medallion was corrupt to its drivers and an illusion of betrayal to its investors, and those who did well at the expense of a drivers sacrifice should of never exist.
Maverick Xander (1 month ago)
The medallion needs no saving
Maverick Xander (1 month ago)
Uber drivers require good living better living earnings
Maverick Xander (1 month ago)
The best next future for all these drivers is Uber.
Maverick Xander (1 month ago)
The medallion was the thief that fucked their own and rental using drivers the yellow cab industry was never good.
Ilegal Alien (1 month ago)
How could anyone afford a million dollar medallion to begin with?
Erik S (1 month ago)
What you see here is a communist system (offering permanently fixed by state, i.e. the medal system) versus the other extreme which is a libertarian system (like uber) The system should actually be in between! A system whereby there are permits that are based on supply and demand (e.g. yearly). This where also on yearly basis an auction is held for a fixed amount paid where previous permit owners have priority. And where the permit owner should be the taxi driver
MrMurdoom (2 months ago)
Why doesn't Uber just buy yellowcab and absolve their assets and such?
F M (2 months ago)
Where ever if the mayor gets money millions corrupt from uber he will approve they don’t care about the people modern corruption
CB Glass III (2 months ago)
I think the system would be better balanced if cities would require the same red tape for all drivers. And Uber/Lyft/etc should have to pay for a badge to have drivers in the city, too.
Screamin Mime (2 months ago)
It's not Uber, it's the city that has been screwing them.
M Merritt (2 months ago)
Man you gotta expect anything you invest into to fail and try to prepare for that. Expect the worst, hope for the best.
GamingTV (3 months ago)
looking at your facial hair i doubt domino's pizza is why you tapped out
ROBERT FERRAIOLI (3 months ago)
The cabs aren't going anywhere. Not everyone is going to adapt to uber.
Ground shaker (3 months ago)
Taxi drivers are best
nassi ben (4 months 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 (4 months 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 (4 months ago)
Not Colin Quinn's best comedy.
Ten Tsering (4 months 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 (4 months ago)
so uber drivers arent hard working people? this mayor is a goof ball
Thomas Christopher White (5 months ago)
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 (5 months ago)
VICE actually lets a real comic do something on their platform?! Dont they know hes a white supremacist racist nazi bigot sexist??
lithium (5 months 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.
Apple Jacks (5 months ago)
Dubbel Gunn's sawk huckas!
Ask MiName (5 months 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.
Booger Lips (5 months ago)
Colin Quinn's hatred of Jim Norton makes the world go 'round.
jim lee (5 months ago)
Uber manipulation destroyed local business !
jay hill (5 months ago)
People are so serious
D.E. Sarcarean (5 months 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 (5 months ago)
Colin is top 5 imo.
monster jesse (5 months ago)
Yeah u know I don't like yellow cab but I do feel for the driver struggling
Werther's Original (5 months 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 (5 months ago)
0:54 That driver is me when someone tries to strike up conversation.
pastelpurpledeathbed (5 months ago)
Maybe if they weren't so shitty about their jobs, this wouldn't happen.
Shreddie Krueger (5 months 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 (5 months ago)
Just here for Colin
CRaig west (5 months ago)
why dont they become uber drivers....
RSS2 (5 months ago)
Bring back Tough Crowd! Our country needs it more than ever!
Johns Corey (5 months ago)
The hell with the yellow cab
Bob Bobbington (5 months ago)
i love colin quinn. seems like a really good dude.
Greg Brenner (5 months ago)
Bring back Tough Crowd!!!
metal face (5 months ago)
Id rather watch him talk to a back alley tunisian knife fighter
Truthsabre7 (5 months ago)
Does cab drivers need to read the book who moved my cheese.
Truthsabre7 (5 months 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.
Darnell Jackson. (5 months ago)
If Lyft & Uber didn't crush the cab industry now, self driven cars of the future would have.
JayLeePoe (5 months ago)
Driver is the next dead job
Powerful Young Moses (5 months ago)
Hey everybody this taxi driver wants a VOSS water !!!!
Barf Face (5 months ago)
NO. It's your turn to do the dishes.
Frank Ortiz II (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months ago)
These cab drivers sound like the hillbillys from South Park. "They took our job!"
darique warren (5 months ago)
There are cab services. Plug for day and nite car service
Imight Realperson (5 months ago)
cruisin colin
JGCameron (5 months 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 (5 months ago)
Americas about competition it doesn’t surprise me that non-Americans don’t understand that
Daniel 1 (5 months ago)
Seems to mostly effect annoying, privleged immigrants. Could care less, but great idea getting Colin to help push pointless liberal propaganda!
JoC 2091 (5 months ago)
Back alley tunisian knife fighter
Primary Simcha Felder (5 months 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
BadBadLeroyBrown (5 months 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!!!
KandaPanda (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months ago)
I will never feel bad for taxis the amount of times they try to rip you off
J-Boogie Brown (5 months ago)
What's OTB?
Jen Mercury (5 months ago)
Why can't they evolve with the times, and stop feeling sorry for themselves?
Noneya Business (5 months 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 (5 months ago)
why did it take so long to get colin on here??? in before some shit i didnt know about
Marc G (5 months ago)
The politicians fucked the taxi drivers totally, now they pretend they want to fix it when its totally unfixable
Danny Ferguson (5 months ago)
Divide and conquer. Uber drivers will never offer as much resistance.
ChunKeyPeachezz Z (5 months ago)
We once rode horses.. now we drive cars We once took cabs now we ride Uber’s
howaboutit11 (5 months ago)
Colin you’re too good for vice
mdoe30 (5 months ago)
The brilliant Colin Quinn!
Discrete Entropy (5 months ago)
Creative destruction...
T U (5 months ago)
Good job Colin
saint jack (5 months ago)
what happened to Irish American cabbies from Queens.
Bill Owen (5 months ago)
Well done Colin. I hope this leads to more NYC videos with you!
Gg Ff (5 months ago)
Problem with taxi drivers there no fuckin fun anymore can hardly speak English
Likwid Ayshun (5 months ago)
I was waiting for Quinn to hit them with some savage zingers. Shut up dummy!
Rod Angles (5 months ago)
I Blame Louie DePalma
Swapster .com (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months ago)
Go back to washing dishes ! Lol
OtayOtay2018 (5 months ago)
Can't beat em join em?
Zarkow (5 months 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.
there’s no rickshaw drivers in New York. you adapt with the times or you kick rocks.
CDXX (5 months 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?
Post World Haven -777 (5 months ago)
thy don't pay nothing....it is good grammar with wrong meaning.
Meadowlark Lemon (5 months ago)
What you got me talking through this little window for? What am I? Wanted for petty larceny in Chappaquiddick? Hrm.
Tom Delay Beats (5 months ago)
colin quinn - one of the most unfunny comedians in the history of comedy.
ibieiniid (5 months ago)
Jello cab will lib!
TheCrusaderRabbits (5 months ago)
It's called capitalism
Brendissimo (5 months 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 (5 months ago)
Love Colin Quinn...hate VICE😑

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