donktaxi.jpgThey might lack the plush interiors with overstuffed seats and satellite television, but a NYC taxi may be the most expensive ride you'll ever sit in. A Pakistani man who'd owned a cab for 25 years recently auctioned its medallion off and the winning bid came in at $600,000. The medallion was originally purchased in 1981 for $30,000. That's almost a 13% annual return on the owner's investment, which isn't outrageous, but pretty darn good for a quarter century. When one factors in the cash that the medallion generated over the same period, that yellow taxi is actually golden.

The seller owns a fleet of taxis that numbers around a hundred. Autoblog has all of the details. A taxi fare hike was approved in late 2006 as drivers labored under rising gas prices. More recently, taxi drivers have been complaining about a city-mandated technological upgrade that will outfit cabs with GPS systems and credit card readers. Mayor Bloomberg recently launched an initiative that will replace every existing cab in the city with a hybrid vehicle over the next five years. The new vehicles cost more than a standard taxi, but Bloomberg argued that the cost savings in gas would more than offset the expense.

(Donk Taxi, by glennQNYC at flickr)