Skip Navigation
NPR News
Taxis pass through Times Square in New York City. (Getty Images)

Why Does A Taxi Medallion Cost $1 Million?

by Caitlin Kenney
Nov 29, 2011

Hear this

This text will be replaced
Launch in player

Share this

Explore this

Reported by

Caitlin Kenney

Related Topics at

Last month here in New York City, two taxi medallions, the metal plates that make it legal to drive a cab in the city, sold for $1 million each.

On today's podcast, we try to answer the question — why? What makes these pieces of metal worth so much?

To get the answer, we go back to the 1930's with Graham Hodges, professor of history at Colgate University. Hodges says it all has to do with a famous and violent strike where cabs were set on fire in Times Square.

Plus, we check in with Canadian economist and Bloomberg reporter Ilan Kolet to see how a taxi medallion stacks up against some of today's most popular investments. (Spoiler Alert: The taxi medallion beats out gold, by a lot.)

Subscribe to the podcast. Music: M83's "Midnight City." Find us: Twitter/ Facebook/Spotify

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit

Missing some content? Check the source: NPR
Copyright(c) 2014, NPR

Visitor comments


NCPR is supported by:

This is a Visitor-Supported website.