Yellow Cabs Are in The DNA of New York City, But Will That Last?

Richard Wissak, vice president of 55 Stan.

For years, driving a cab and aspiring to own a taxi medallion was a great path for many, including immigrants, to achieve the American dream.

In the latest episode of Schneps Connects, Josh Schneps, CEO of Schneps Media, speaks with Richard Wissak, vice president of 55 Stan, a company that owns and operates a large fleet of NYC taxi cabs dating back to 1960 and based out of Long Island City, Queens.

We all know how much yellow cabs are part of the city’s DNA, but technology has changed the landscape of the industry and along with that, the streets of the city.

In this episode, we discussed that taxi medallions were at one time a great long term investment that was protected by supply and demand. You could only pick up people off the streets of New York City with a medallion, and those medallions were auctioned in small amounts by the City of New York.

In 2014, medallion values peaked at about $1.3 million each. However, the industry was massively disrupted by mobile apps that offer ride-hailing as well as ride-sharing. On top of that, the taxi industry was shaken up by risky lending practices to those who borrowed to buy medallions that are now underwater, the impact of which drove down the values almost 90 percent to about $140,000.

Hear what is being done for medallion owners that have been so severely impacted by technology and now, the Covid-19 pandemic. Every Thursday as part of our new Schneps Connects Podcast Series, we will feature exceptional leaders like Richard while we pull back the curtain on their proudest accomplishments, biggest challenges, and all the lessons they’ve learned along the way.

 Produced by Jill Carvajal and Josh Schneps.

 Listen here: https://open.spotify.com/embed-podcast/episode/4bmrirwsJMENdeQo4l9sVn.

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