Letter from the Co-Chairs
January 31, 2020
Dear Mayor de Blasio and Speaker Johnson,
Pursuant to Local Law 212 of 2018, we deliver to you the report of the Taxicab Medallion Sale Prices Task Force (“Task Force”). Over the past six months, members of the Task Force met almost every other week, either as a whole body or in smaller working groups, to discuss the state of the medallion taxi industry in New York City. The Task Force grappled with some of the most pressing concerns around two central policy issues: how to address the debt crisis in the medallion industry and the future of medallion taxi service in the City.
During our discussions it became abundantly clear that the medallion taxi industry in our city is in a state of crisis, and the time to take urgent, bold action to remedy the situation is now. The ensuing report spells out several practical recommendations for actions that our local, state and federal governments can take to deal with this crisis and improve the economic conditions of taxi drivers in New York City. Some are common sense solutions, like banning the practice of confessions of judgment or increasing enforcement against illegal street hail pickups. Others may require more creativity and unflinching resolve, such as the proposal to establish a loan purchase and modification program for medallion owners struggling with unsustainable debt. However, we believe that taking no action at all would only exacerbate the problems that are currently stifling this industry.
Our Task Force members and staff worked diligently to produce a balanced and meaningful product that we trust will have a positive impact. We would like to thank each and every one of the Task Force members and the assigned City Council staff for all their hard work. This report could not have been possible without their input.
Finally, we thank you for entrusting us with the vital work of this Task Force. It is our sincere hope that the City Council, the Taxi and Limousine Commission, officials at all levels of government, and stakeholders in the private sector can work together to implement the proposed recommendations found in this report to assist our struggling taxi drivers and to ensure that taxi service continues to be a viable transportation option in our City.
Honorable Ydanis Rodriguez
Honorable Stephen T. Levin
Report of the Taxi Medallion Task Force
The Task Force’s work primarily focused on addressing two central questions:
- How the current financial crisis among over-indebted medallion owners could be addressed.
- How the medallion industry could remain viable in a changing marketplace.
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Taxis in NYC
Number of Taxi Medallions
Cost of Taxi Medallion
Average for Wheelchair Accessible Corporate
Average for All Medallions
Average Daily Fares Per Taxi
Sept 2013 – Sept 2019
Taxi Medallion Background
Market speculation, risky lending practices, and lack of proper regulatory oversight across various levels of government led medallion owners to take on high levels of debt.
Following large-scale disruption in the for-hire transportation industry by app-based companies, medallion values and medallion taxi revenues plummeted, and these high levels of debt became unsustainable for a large number of medallion owners.
Several of these lenders that concentrated heavily on medallion lending were found to have engaged in risky lending practices and recently became insolvent.
Average Hours on the Road Per Taxi
Average Revenue from Fares Per Taxi
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Created by the NYC Council Data Team.