A taxi medallion just sold
for the lowest price in more than
a decade. But new rules could
help owners avoid huge losses
One of the 13,587 pieces of tin that give yellow cabs the right to pick up street hails sold in March for $241,000, a low not seen since the early 2000s and a far cry from the $1.05 million that a similar taxi medallion fetched in 2014.
For some quarters of the taxi industry, the sale is one more sign of how far the yellow cab business has deteriorated since Uber gained traction in New York starting in mid-2014. The previous low for a medallion sale during the past year was $325,000, last April, though there also have been sales, sometimes in foreclosure, for as much as $600,000.
But the low sales could be unreliable indicators, given the rule changes implemented by the Taxi and Limousine Commission to help stabilize the market for medallions. Continue reading
Yellow taxi cabs have significantly fewer accidents than cabs of a darker hue, according to new research.
You may only want to hail yellow taxis: The brightly colored cabs are involved in fewer accidents than blue ones, because yellow is more visible, according to a new study.
An analysis of millions of detailed taxi, driver and accident information over a three-year period from Singapore’s largest taxi company found yellow taxis were involved in 9% fewer accidents than blue ones, the study said.
Researchers ruled out differences in driving speed, number of stops and distance covered as factors, leaving color as the primary reason. “Color was the only differentiator because the company used the same car models and enforced the same maintenance policy for all its taxis,” the study reported. Continue reading
Ride-sharing apps are distressing traditional cab companies (and their debt).
There’s a good reason your cab driver is so cranky: His livelihood might be teetering on the edge of default. According to a recent presentation prepared for Capital One Financial Corp. investors, some 81 percent of its $690 million in loans for taxi medallions are at risk of default.
Medallions, the small metal shields affixed to the hoods of taxi cabs, are issued by the local taxi authority and effectively allow the cabs to operate legally. Owning one used to be akin to owning a gas-guzzling, money-printing machine. Medallions in New York City traded at more than $1 million in 2014, but today’s prices are about half of that.
Now the share of taxi medallion loans Capital One thinks its borrowers won’t be able to repay in full has nearly tripled over the past year, to 51.5 percent. (Another 29 percent of loans are to stressed borrowers who could be in trouble soon.)
Taxi rides to and from LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy, and Newark airports could soon get more expensive if Port Authority has it their way. In a new proposal, the agency is calling for a $4 “access fee” that would require all passengers being picked up and dropped off via car service, including Uber and Lyft. The money would then be used to fund airport enhancements, like a new taxi dispatch system, reports the NY Daily News (h/t Gothamist).
Though every other major airport in the country has a similar surcharge in place, the proposal is already being met with fierce opposition. In a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, public advocate Letitia James called for the Port Authority to abandon the proposal, stating that the $4 fee would create even more of a burden for New Yorkers.
“At a time when access to New York City’s airports is already limited, the Port Authority should be focused on improving public transportation options, not increasing burdens on consumers,” James said.
The flailing yellow-cab industry appears to be trying to blackmail the city into bailing it out — threatening to yank its wheelchair-accessible cabs off the street.
David Beier, president of the Committee for Taxi Safety, which represents 20 percent of the city’s yellow-taxi medallion agents, told The Post that medallion owners are near the breaking point.
He claims the industry’s financing is in jeopardy because a major medallion lender was taken over by state authorities last week. And owners gripe that app-based competitors, such as Uber and Lyft, are getting a free ride regarding regulations.
“Without the necessary financing in place, there may be no choice but to shut down the entire accessible-taxi program within months,” Beier said, referring to the city’s more than 1,400 specially equipped cabs.
Hundreds of standard cabs could follow suit because of the plummeting values in the taxi-medallion market, industry advocates said.
There is always a great conversations, and discussions going on at the airport and garage – so, let’s continue with our stories and discussions about the taxi business; right here!
Joining the lineup of stars in this fall’s must-see films: A young Robert De Niro.
“Taxi Driver,” the Martin Scorsese classic starring De Niro as Travis Bickle, is coming back to NYC theaters to celebrate the film’s 40th anniversary. It’ll screen for two days only – Oct. 16 and Oct. 19. Continue reading