NYC Taxi Monopoly

by Don Boudreaux on April 25, 2004

in Current Affairs

The New York Times reports on the glee that Victor Salazar felt upon learning of the acceptance of his bid of $299,555.55 for a taxicab medallion. In other words, Mr. Salazar must pay to the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission a princely ransom just to be allowed to offer his services to customers — and he’s happy about it.

Imagine how happy Mr. Salazar would have been without the unjustified regulatory scheme NYC has for taxis. He would have been allowed to drive a cab without paying one cent to the Commission.

Of course, now that he owns a medallion, he has a sudden stake in the entry restrictions and price regulations vigorously enforced by the Commission. Too bad for the many aspiring cabbies whose bids to buy medallions failed. Too bad for the many aspiring cabbies who simply didn’t bother to bid because the price was too steep. And too bad for New Yorkers who, as a result, pay unnecessarily high prices for inferior service.

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