Taxi medallions in Philly headed to sealed bid auction

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The Philadelphia Parking Authority is going back to the drawing board to sell new taxi medallions.  Nobody bid on them the first time around.

The PPA started the bids at $475,000 and then dropped the asking price to $350,000. But there’s a catch.

“The first is the vehicles will have to be new when they hit the street and the vehicles will also have to be wheelchair accessible, meaning a person in a wheelchair will to be able to access the back of the vehicle without exiting a wheelchair,” said parking authority general counsel Dennis Weldon.

With no takers, Weldon says the PPA instead will take sealed bids starting at $50,000 — but the cabs would still need to be new and wheelchair accessible.  

The 61 medallions will be sold in groups of four to eight at a time, but he’s not saying how many in total will be sold.  Weldon says this is being done to make the bidding as competitive as possible.  The first bids will be opened in May.

Taxi companies have said they balked at the medallions for a combination of factors.  The cost of buying new, accessible cabs combined with the medallion price tags made them wary.  Plus they are concerned about how ride sharing services such as Uber and Lyft will cut into their business, even though the PPA has been cracking down on them, calling the services illegal.

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