By Yepoka Yeebo
MANHATTAN — The value of a New York City taxi medallion is at an all-time high of $609,000, according to published reports.
The cost of a license to run a livery cab service has rocketed up $26,000 since January, the New York Post reports.
David Yassky, head of the Taxi and Limousine Commission, told the Post that prices keep rising because medallions are a safe investment.
"We have a high level of customer confidence in the quality of taxicab service, and I think that is one factor contributing to record-high medallion values, along with the strong and qualified driver pool and the underlying health of the city's economy," Yassky said according to the paper.
Experts chalked the increase up to the struggling black car business, the paper reported. Black car services lost 40 percent of their clients after firms started dropping car services to cut costs.
The high price also means medallions are no longer within the reach of actual taxi drivers.
"Drivers [who] saved wages with the intention of someday owning a taxi medallion are attempting something that is nearly impossible," said a Wesleyan University study on the issue according to the Post.
"Increases in the price of taxi medallions have made leasing them more expensive, creating higher costs for drivers."