NYU Marron Institute Senior Fellow Clayton Gillette recently served on the New York City Taxi Medallion Sales Price Task Force. Medallions, which are issued by the city but then can be sold on the private market, allow owners to operate city-sanctioned yellow cabs. The task force was created following reports in The New York Times and elsewhere about alleged financial misconduct of sellers and lenders in the medallion market. Medallion prices soared above $1 million in 2014, but have since plummeted, leaving many drivers in financial ruin. The task force released their final report on January 31, 2020.
Gillette said that the Task Force represented a wide range of stakeholders in the taxi medallion industry and that the discussions “revealed the underlying causes of the current financial crisis and potential actions that could be taken by the City and others to alleviate it.” Gillette noted, however, that the Task Force’s limited mandate meant that it did not evaluate whether a medallion system for allocating street hail services should continue.