Carpe Diem

Chart of the day: NYC taxi medallion prices

taxiThe chart above shows monthly NYC taxi medallion prices for: a) corporate and b) individual medallions, based on data from the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission. For the first time in more than a decade, individual medallion prices have been flat at $1.05 million for the last ten months. Corporate medallion prices haven’t increased for the last 12 months from $1,320,000. Although corporate medallion prices did experience a similar long period of stagnation at $1 million in 2011-12, individual medallions have steadily increased in value almost every month before hitting the $1.05 million plateau last June. In contrast, individual medallion prices were appreciating annually by 14.4% in the nine year period between January 2004 and December 2012.

Q: Is this the Uber/Lyft/Sidecar effect that makes NYC taxi medallions less attractive now that the taxi cartel is facing competition? Time will tell, but it would make sense that the presence and popularity of app-based ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft, would have to depress the value of a NYC taxi medallion now that the traditional taxi cartel is being challenged.

19 thoughts on “Chart of the day: NYC taxi medallion prices

  1. We still need to keep up these restrictive practices. It’s okay to have some poor Somalian driving one of the cabs, but you wouldn’t want him to own one someday.

  2. does anyone have any data on how many of these actually trade and how many have done so of late?

    i’m wondering if this flat patch might be due to zero volume and that the actual pricing might move quite a bit when the next ones trade.

    i would bet that supply of these things is controlled (especially the corp ones) with a cartel discipline that makes de beers look like a snack food company.

    i sure would not want to buy a taxi medallion right now.

    some of the rise in taxi medallion prices is likely attributable to the increases in fares.

    in 1990 it was 1.50/drop and then 25c per 1/5 mile.

    it’s now $2.50 and 50c.

    but that would not explain the massive run up. i suspect many of these are financed, so interest rates likely matter a great deal as well, and a drop by maybe half could add another doubling and get you a lot of the way to current prices, , but still not all the way.

    the interesting thing is that with guys like lyft and uber around, the ability to raise prices is going to be far more limited and with rates having pretty much nowhere to go but up, financial carry costs are goign to rise as well.

    that does NOT bode well for the price of medallions over the next 2-5 years.

    • though there’s something to be said for trying to restrict the supply of cabs so all of nyc doesnt become one giant smog-filled traffic jam

  3. Uber/Lyft only matter if the taxi cartels can’t get the government to squash them, and so far the taxi cartels have been quite successful at doing so.

    • IN addition to the Taxi cartels it seems the car service companies would also be involved. Interestingly the model that is arising is that only licensed taxis can be hailed off the street, but if you call for service then Uber et all might be ok. (The competition then really is the car service folks depending on the times involved between placing the request and the arrival of the car). So then the real issue becomes between a car owned by the car service and the privately owned car in Uber et. al. As has happened in a couple of states it will become the case that a driver turning on the uber app, will fall under the uber commercial driving insurance policy, not just when they have a fare.
      Note that this sort of comprimise would also keep the car service companies out of the taxi stands.

      • When I lived in New York in 1998 they already had services like this where you weren’t allowed to pick up from the curb but could call in for service. (Of course there were ways to get them to come to you.) And yes these services were legal.

      • lyle-

        worth noting:

        uber is not monolithic that way.

        uber black are commercially plated cars with commercially licensed drivers just like a standard car service.

        it is only uber x that has those insurance issues.

        • So uber fits quite well into the existing framework, and really is a car service competitor, its Uber X that is the problem. Uber itself really does not compete with cabs, but with the car services that lots of companies for example use if folks have to work late in NYC to take them home safely.

  4. Mark hasn’t posted anything new and this post isn’t going anywhere. Time to cause some trouble :-)

    Controversial Statement!


    • Jon

      Controversial Statement!

      That can’t possibly be right. J. B. Say stated that “Products are paid for with products”, and went on to explain that production creates it’s own demand.

      That silly notion of “aggregate demand” driving economic growth is nonsense. You would be doing yourself a favor if you quite reading Krugman.

    • Jon

      So, is your Controversial Statement completely trashed by my brilliant rejoinder, or have you got something you want me to demolish?

      • Damn!

        “So, is your Controversial Statement completely trashed by my brilliant rejoinder, or have you got something elseyou want me to demolish?”

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