2006_06_17_taxis.jpg

That's a lotta taxi medallions!

The Taxi and Limousine Commission yesterday had an auction for 54 new wheelchair-accessible taxi medallions and with a surprise bid 35-year-old Russian immigrant Gene Friedman snatched up all of them for $477,666.50 - a pop! "Individual medallions have privately sold for more, but this marks the highest price paid at auction" - nearly $25 million total! Friedman now owns nearly 700 medallions, not bad for a guy who bought his first one only ten years ago.

The sealed auction generated a large amount of interest, there was an average of 10 bids for each medallion, though it is expected to pale in comparison to the auction set to take place next week. That's when the city is going to auction another 254 medallions for alternative-fuel vehicles.

Now if only all the city's taxis could be alternative-fuel and wheelchair-accessible. That'd be something...

Detail of a photo by Swaneeswan via Contribute.