Who's ready for a little 20/20 hindsight? Way back in 1998, before this whole crippling recession, a TLC issued taxi medallion cost $240,000. That may have seemed steep, but if you held onto it for 12 years you could see a 154% profit. These days, the medallions sell for about $609,000. TLC head David Yassky told the Post, "We have a high level of customer confidence in the quality of taxicab service, and I think that is one factor contributing to record-high medallion values, along with the strong and qualified driver pool and the underlying health of the city's economy." Unfortunately, those qualified drivers may never be able to afford one.
Cab drivers say the soaring prices are making it ludicrous for your average Joe or Mohammad to even think of leasing his own cab, much less owning one. A Wesleyan University study said, "Drivers [who] saved wages with the intention of someday owning a taxi medallion are attempting something that is nearly impossible. Increases in the price of taxi medallions have made leasing them more expensive, creating higher costs for drivers." Oh well, there are probably a lot more lucrative careers anyway. Ones with fewer stabbing risks.