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Thread: New York Taxi

  1. #631

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    Quote Originally Posted by eddhead View Post
    More than once, I have lost access to an on-duty cab when and off-duty cab pulled in front and than refused to take me.
    ..and that's exactly why you should always ignore the "Off Duty" cab when an "On Duty" one is within your sight..

  2. #632
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    MC, the light system really does not work.

    Even though I know what it means, i still am not sure if a cab is occupied or not, or off duty until it gets closer.

    Saying it has been around for a long time does NOT make it "work".

  3. #633

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    The Taxi and Limousine Commission is considering a plan that would eliminate taxis’ smaller “off-duty” lights in favor of a single, central beacon: it would be illuminated if the cab is available, and dark if it is not.
    Well, this is funny.

    I'm not sure exactly when the TLC decided to "standardize" the roof lamps on taxis and included the useless ID numbers, but before that, the lamps were internally lit white plastic domes. They varied somewhat in style, but simply - on when the cab was available, off when it was not. The entire dome glowed when lit, and could be seen from any direction.


  4. #634
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    I think the TLC did it just to make giving them tickets easier....

  5. #635

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    Quote Originally Posted by milleniumcab View Post
    ..and that's exactly why you should always ignore the "Off Duty" cab when an "On Duty" one is within your sight..
    I do, but am sometimes cursed at by the driver. In fact, I once almost got into a fist fight with a beligerent driver who insisted on knowing why I passed him by. Sometimes, even the driver I select instead of the off-duty car asks a little funny about it.

  6. #636

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    We can discuss here all we want, TLC is gonna do what they wanna do anyway.. Cab drivers need to be able to protect themselves from any charges brought upon by overzealous public who now thinks (thanks to TLC and Mayor Bloomberg) that driver must go anywhere, anytime.. No sir, I DO need personal time and must be able to do that lawfully, the current system allows me to do just that. As long as they come up with a way for me to be OFF DUTY without braeking the law, I'm fine with it. I just don't see how they are gonna incorporate being off duty to single light system, that's all......

  7. #637

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    edd, when I am ON DUTY and see a customer trying to negotiate a destination with an OFF DUTY cab, I'll simply pass them by. I'm hoping they wont do it next time.. And when I am OFF DUTY, I will not initiate the negotiation, I will wait until the customer approaches me. I figure that's the right thing..

  8. #638

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    I think you are right NH....

  9. #639

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp View Post
    Well, this is funny.

    I'm not sure exactly when the TLC decided to "standardize" the roof lamps on taxis and included the useless ID numbers, but before that, the lamps were internally lit white plastic domes.
    That's a good question Zippy, I'll have to look into that..

  10. #640
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    MC, I think the issue here is two pronged.

    First is that it is difficult to tell, even when you know, that a cam is off duty or not, and whether it will take you somewhere even when it is close enough to tell that it is off duty.

    The second is, one of the busiest times of the day, evening rush, is a shift change. I understand the reasoning behind that, but reasoning does not matter in a customer service industry. People do not care about how many hours or who is earning what, they just want a cab when they need a cab and are willing to pay for it.

    Seeing a dozen cabs all drive by lit with "off duty" with a half dozen other people waving at them is a bit frustrating.


    So, very simple:

    On = Available.
    Off = NOT available, for whatever reason.
    Blinking = Will be available after (I) drop this guy off.....

    Too simple to ignore.

  11. #641
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    I've never had a problem telling if a cab has it's off duty lights on from blocks away. You just have to know what to look for. I always wonder about people with their arms up who get upset as a cab whizzes by with off duty lights on, wondering why they weren't picked up. And no, the vast majority of the people I see are not tourists

  12. #642
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    "special occasion" cab hailers or "weekend splurge-rs"

  13. #643
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Crikey


    2 Taxi Medallions Sell for $1 Million Each

    By MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM

    Two New York taxi medallions — aluminum plates that grant the right to operate a yellow cab — changed hands this week for $1 million apiece, the highest recorded sale since the city’s modern livery system began.

    The sale was the culmination of decades of astonishing growth for the humble medallion, which is nailed to the hood of every yellow cab in the city. When New York issued its first batch of medallions in 1937, the going price was $10 even, or $157.50 in today’s dollars.

    Some perspective: The Dow Jones industrial average has risen 1,100 percent in the last 30 years. In the same period, the value of a taxi medallion is up 1,900 percent. That return beats gold, oil and the American house.

    Sky-high prices and million-dollar deals seem a far cry from the medallion’s early days; when World War II came around and demand for taxis dropped, many drivers simply returned their medallions to the city to avoid the annual $10 renewal fee.

    “It’s a lot of money, and it is an investment that someone would not make without being confident in the industry and the future of the city,” said David S. Yassky, chairman of the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission.

    The million-dollar sale was hatched earlier this year, when a taxi financing specialist, Nat Goldbetter, received a visit from an old acquaintance looking to sell two medallions bought for $80,000 apiece in the 1980s. There was an offer that valued each medallion at $975,000, but the seller was hoping for more.

    With many owners reluctant to sell these days, hoping for the value to keep rising, Mr. Goldbetter figured he could find a willing buyer. The papers were signed on Wednesday morning.

    “Nobody ever thought the medallion would get to this point,” Mr. Goldbetter said from his office in Long Island City, Queens, a few hours after the papers were signed. “It was pretty cool. It broke up the boredom of my work.”

    Mr. Goldbetter, a youthful looking 67, grew up on the Lower East Side and got into the taxi business in the 1960s as a driver. He bought his own medallion in 1969 for $25,000, but sold it a few years later. “I could have made a zillion dollars, but I did O.K.,” he said.

    Mr. Goldbetter was also no stranger to the historic: in 1985, he handled the sale of the first $100,000 medallion, a feat that earned a front-page article in The New York Times.
    “It’s kind of history repeating itself, only multiplied by 10,” he said.

    There are 13,237 medallions in the city; new ones, when issued, are sold at auction. But the medallion pool is rarely expanded, creating a scarcity that helps keep values high. (Many owners have objected to a city proposal that would allow livery cabs to pick up street hails outside busy parts of Manhattan, saying such a plan would lower the value of their medallions.)

    Large fleets, which can control hundreds of medallions, often find it easy to secure financing to meet the high prices. Medallion sales can make for big business: the biggest lender, Medallion Financial, is a publicly traded company (ticker symbol: TAXI) and shares its skyscraper on Madison Avenue with the Rockefeller Family Fund.

    Corporate medallions, like the two sold on Wednesday, do not need to be driven by their owners and can be leased out 24 hours a day. Individual medallions, which make up about 40 percent of the fleet and must be occasionally driven by the owner, are worth slightly less: the latest sale was for about $700,000.

    The secondary market in medallions and its private transfers began after World War II, at the starting price of $2,500. The value quickly grew, crossing the $50,000 mark in the mid-1970s. But the steepest period of growth has been over the past decade, when the value of corporate medallions nearly quadrupled.

    So are we entering the tulip era of the taxicab? Could a million-dollar sale signal the beginning of the end of the great yellow cab bubble?

    “No one is very good at forecasting the economic future right now, but I would say no,” said Graham Hodges, a professor at Colgate University who has written a history of the taxi industry. He said the investment in a medallion was comparable to buying an apartment in Manhattan.

    “It will always make good money and pay for itself,” Dr. Hodges said. “There are certain things that are just gilt-edged assets, and this is one of them.”

    As for the first $100,000 medallion, it was sold to a young immigrant from Hong Kong, Stanley Cheung. In 1985, he told The Times that he heard medallion values were on the rise, and if the price kept going up, he might sell. “There are things better than driving a cab,” he said at the time.

    Mr. Cheung did indeed sell his medallion: in 1987, for $125,000. After paying the expenses for his cab, Mr. Cheung came out about even, according to his wife, Shirley Cheung, who was reached on Wednesday at the couple’s house in Little Neck, Queens.

    “One million? Oh my God!” Ms. Cheung said, when informed about the recent sale. “I don’t want to hear about it. I have to sleep tonight.”

    Ms. Cheung laughed and said that she was well aware that medallion values had skyrocketed in recent years. Her husband, she said, looks at the prices every once in a while, but she tells him not to share. “It’s O.K.,” she said of the high value. “I just don’t want to hear about it.”

    http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/20...er=rss&emc=rss

  14. #644
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    That is just not right.

    They were meant to limit and regulate the taxi and limo industry in NYC, not to turn into their own "Members Only" monopoly...


    Time to release some more medalions. If private sale can go for $1M, why not sell a few hundred more for $500K? (ea?)

  15. #645
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    There is something really INSANE about this.

    Why are the licenses trade-able in this way? The guy holding the license probably never gets near his licensed cab, and instead just leases it out to others.

    Downtown we have a related situation where it seems that license holders for food vendor carts "sub-lease" those rights to vend to non-licensees, and rather than operate their own licensed cart they "manage" a group of hard workers. Entrepeneurship thrives.

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