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San Francisco Taxi Medallions At Center Of Financial Meltdown

December 19, 2017

sbclocal – excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — While taxi medallions in San Francisco were once seen as a good investment — literally a license to make money for cab drivers — the popularity of ride-sharing apps has led to a looming financial meltdown for the city’s struggling taxi industry.

The rise of Uber and Lyft as the more common way for people to catch rides around San Francisco has left local cab drivers deep in debt.

And San Francisco could be on the hook for the money owed as the taxi medallion market descends into a financial disaster…

In cabs across San Francisco, taxi medallions have turned into something like a troubled mortgage…

KPIX 5 has learned that the San Francisco Federal Credit Union has now foreclosed on 70 medallion loans – and it considers the remaining loans — approximately 480 of them — as “impaired.”

The Credit Union has also filed a legal claim against San Francisco as stakeholders increasingly blame the SFMTA for a medallion market that fell apart when tens of thousands of drivers without taxi medallion were allowed to hit city streets…

So what was originally a plan to fill a budget hole at the SFMTA is now at the center of a legal claim against the city, tied to $125 million worth of troubled loans at a local credit union.

There is also a second complaint filed against the city by the Medallion Buyers Alliance complete with six pages full of claimant names…(more)

Once more we ask, what has SFMTA done right? Are any of their new experimental projects working or even breaking even? Certainly they did not handle the taxi medallions very well. The sooner we change the management at SFMTA the sooner we can start to clean up the messes like this that cost SF residents more in lawsuits than any other department. Let’s put this department out of its and our misery ASAP. City Hall needs to quit signing contracts and agreements brought to them by the SFMTA while they sort this mess out.

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