Today’s Headlines

  • Advocates for the Disabled Demand Speed Cameras (WNYC)
  • “Uber Cap” Coverage: Wall to Wall in NYC … (NYTGothamistAMNYPostNY1)
  • … And Across the Globe: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
  • What the TLC Driver Wage Plan Could Look Like (Quartz); Bellafante Not Impressed (NYT)
  • Meanwhile, It’s Business as Usual on Andrew Cuomo’s Subway (Gothamist)
  • Murphy Increases Funding for NJ Transit, But There’s No Timetable for Recovery (NYT)
  • Eric Gonzalez Characteristically MIA as NYPD Legalizes Hit-and-Run in Brooklyn (BK Paper)
  • Report: Areas Around Bridges and Elevated Tracks Dangerous for Biking and Walking (Gothamist)
  • Amid the Post’s Dated Stereotypes Is a Story About How the L Shutdown Is Affecting Housing
  • The Times Trailed a Dockless Bike-Share Rebalancer

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Brad Aaron

    Hat tip to the Politico NY team for those international Uber headlines, which I cribbed from the daily email blast.

  • ortcutt

    I’m really opposed to this idea that medallion owners need to be bailed out. They invested in a very risky asset. Many types of investments have regulatory risk, the risk that a change in the regulatory environment will make the investment lose value. It’s absolutely crazy to me that anyone would take a personal loan to buy a medallion, instead of buying through an business (i.e. LLC) that they could simply walk away from if prices fell.

  • Joe R.

    Same here, especially bailing out fleet owners who hoarded medallions, thereby driving the price up. Maybe I might be in favor of bailing out individuals if it were funded by making fleet owners auction off their medallions. In no case however should taxpayer money be used. As you said, there was a risk. Also, anyone with half a brain could tell you that what is essentially a business license isn’t an investment. We never should have allowed medallions to be bought and sold like commodities. A medallion owner should pay a nominal fee which covers the city’s administrative costs, period, not hundreds of thousands of dollars. If the demand for medallions exceeds the supply, then potential buyers are put on a waiting list. And no person or corporation should be allowed to have more than one medallion. We’re in this situation primary because medallion hoarding by a few wealthy individuals drove up the price to levels far beyond a medallion’s intrinsic worth.

  • ortcutt

    One correction that I should make though is that it wasn’t really regulatory risk, but technological risk. The regulation of black cars hasn’t really changed. It’s just that using an app is just easier and more reliable than calling a phone number to call a black car in a way that makes them competitive with yellow cabs. Bailing out medallion owners would be like bailing out people who invested in telegraph stocks.

  • Joe R.

    Yes, technological risk is a big factor nowadays. Medallion owners essentially invested in the equivalent of an incandescent light bulb. Maybe not obsolete right now, but well on the way. On top of that, you have potential market fluctuations. Even if e-hail didn’t make medallions pointless, the demand for FHVs could go up or down. The fact is medallions are a very risky investment even in the best of times. Maybe the ones who told medallion owners they could use them to put their kids through school should be prosecuted for investment fraud. That’s really a large part of the problem. People made a business license into an investment vehicle that wasn’t subject to the same regulatory restrictions as traditional investments likes stocks, bonds, or mutual funds. No surprise lots of people lost all they owned in the process.