[FoRK] Taxi Medallions: How New York’s terrible taxi system makes fares higher and drivers poorer.

Damien Morton dmorton at bitfurnace.com
Mon Jun 11 01:47:11 PDT 2012

On Mon, Jun 11, 2012 at 3:19 AM, Stephen D. Williams <sdw at lig.net> wrote:

> On 6/10/12 11:03 PM, Damien Morton wrote:
>> How do you transition from a medallion ownership regime to one where you
>> lease from the city?
>> What do you say to the guy who bought a medallion last year?
>> On Mon, Jun 11, 2012 at 1:33 AM, Joseph S. Barrera III<j3 at barrera.org
>> >wrote:
>>  I don't understand the need for middlemen. Why doesn't the city directly
>>> lease the medallions?
> Sucker!
> Probably the only reasonable way to work out of this situation is to set a
> sunset for 4-10 years and just suffer until then.  Buying out the current
> medallions would be tough, although you could argue that taxes could cover
> it, although the argument will probably be that taxes will be less, etc.

You have to do this in one hit - once you summon up the political clout to
do it, you get one shot at it. Setting a sunset just gives the opposition
time to summon up their clout and undo or whittle away at what has been

One shot, unless the opposition has been bought out. Buy up all the
medallions in New York? $13B, based on numbers in the article.

A few years back we discussed rent controls, and I asked for examples of
rent control regimes that were disbanded. The only examples that anyone
could come up with were ones where the rent control regime was disbanded by
an outside entity - e.g. a state government disbanding a city-wide rent
control regime.

Perhaps a state or federal level government would have a better chance of
dodging the corruption?

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