Uber's Carnage: the Rise of Distressed Taxis

New York City Taxi Medallions Selling at Significant Discounts

Uber's Carnage (Distressed Taxis). As taxi medallion owners continue to struggle, Evgeny Friedman's bankrupt taxi companies are establishing "market value" for the New York City taxi medallion - and it's at the low end of a recently established spectrum. The New York Times writes, "In August alone, 12 of the 21 medallion sales were part of foreclosures; the prices of all the sales ranged from $150,000 to $450,000 per medallion." Friedman's medallions sold last week to a hedge fund for $186k/each for a block of 46. As context, medallions were once worth as much as $1.3mm. Considering that there are approximately 13.8k taxis in New York City today, one observer noted that it would take Uber (or Lyft), approximately $2.6b to simply buy out the entirety of the City's fleet at that valuation - a cost of a small percentage of Uber's supposedly sizable market cap. So there you have it: "disruption," quantified.