I was in NYC yesterday to give a talk, and I had to get a taxi cab twice. Once to go to the Grand Hyatt (traveling from 7th Ave & 28th St. to 109 E 42nd St, about 1.3 miles) and then another mile trip. On the first leg of the trip, I flagged down several cabs, but I was told that the drivers were unwilling to travel to the hotel. They wanted to go someplace else. If I had said one of the airports, they would have been happy, but that isn't where I wanted to go. On the second leg of the trip, it took 40 minutes waiting for a cab. Now this second trip was at 5 PM, so I wasn't too surprised, but I had a big box of books and it was raining. I have never previously run into so many cab drivers who simply refuse to take a ride because they apparently know that they can shop around until they get a bigger fare.
Yet, there are so few cabs that taxi medallions are now over $1 million each. Can't they have enough cabs so that the price of medallions would only be at, say, $500,000?