The yellow medallion taxicab is an internationally recognized icon of New York City. Taxicab ridership has increased to over 240 million passengers annually, yet the number of taxicabs serving the public has remained almost unchanged for nearly seventy years until recently.
In 1937, the number of taxicab medallions was limited to those that existed at that time. By the late 1940s, this number had settled at 11,787. Since 2003, State and local legislation has allowed the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) to sell new medallions, bringing the current total to 13,150 yellow medallion taxicabs operating in New York City. A new medallion is a rare opportunity.
On May 2, 2008, the TLC will be selling 86 corporate (minifleet) accessible medallions, 2 independent alternate fuel medallions, and 1 independent accessible medallion at auction. This auction will increase taxicab service to the public and provide career opportunities for those who wish to own and operate a taxicab business. After this auction, all of the medallions authorized by the legislation will have been sold, and the TLC will not be selling new medallions.
What is a taxicab medallion?
A taxicab medallion is a metallic symbol attached to the hood of a New York City taxicab. The medallion is a license from the City that authorizes the operation of a taxicab within the City of New York. Only drivers with a medallion on their vehicle may pick up people on the street anywhere in the city (street hails). The medallion owner must purchase a vehicle that meets the TLC’s specifications to operate as a New York City taxicab.
Not only is a medallion a license to operate a taxicab, but it is also a license to own and operate a small business and can be leased to other operators for a fee. Medallions can be used as a security for loans and may be transferred to another qualified buyer.