Uber And Others Are Blamed As Price Of Taxi Medallions Continues To Fall

January 8, 2015 | Rhett Jones

As NYC taxi drivers continue to face stiff competition from new services like Uber and the outer borough “green taxi” program, the price of the medallions has dropped considerably. The average price is reportedly $805,000 today, which is a 23% drop from the 2013 peak of $1.05 million.

Medallions are essentially a business license for cab drivers. There are a finite number of them, which is why its value has been fairly high over the years — but the introduction of new services like Uber and Lyft means there are more drivers on the road, so the value of a medallion is falling.

Some drivers believe that increased regulations should be implemented to prevent unfair competition. Tweeps Phillips, the executive director of the Committee for Taxi Safety, tells the New York Times, “[The Taxi and Limousine Commission] needs to start reining in these companies and enforcing the same regulations that yellow taxis have been abiding by for years.”

While the medallion market continues to function at lower prices in NYC, cities like Chicago and Boston have seen their markets nearly stalled. According to the Times, a credit crunch has made it nearly impossible for potential drivers to buy into the game. Mohammad Kamran, a taxi medallion broker in Chicago, says, “It’s totally frozen. I have offers from people who want to sell their medallions for one-sixty, one-fifty, but there is no lending.”

(Photo: James Nord)