A proposed taxi medallion law would limit supply, increase prices for riders, and put hundreds of cab drivers out of work in Washington, DC:
The total number of medallions would be capped at 4,000, which would reduce the current number of cabs by more than one-third and put thousands of drivers out of business.
If that weren’t bad enough, most drivers wouldn’t have the option of buying a medallion. The first set of medallions would be offered for sale to the minority of cabbies who have been driving for at least five years and who live in Washington D.C. (Again the city government has no idea how many current drivers meet this criteria, but rising real estate prices and weak city services have led many drivers to leave the district.)
Who will be offered the next set of medallions, according to the bill? That would be cab companies, who could then rent medallions to drivers. This system would destroy the relatively open-access taxi industry in D.C., in which the majority of drivers are owner-operators free to make their own schedules and keep whatever money they earn on the job. In cities such as New York and Boston, drivers pay upwards of $800 a week to rent their medallion
Let’s go to the videotape,
Kill the medallion bill!