This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
by Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks
Follow the money.
Taxi medallions in Philadelphia, depending on the market, can sell for $400,000 or more.
And over the next decade, the Philadelphia Parking Authority, which oversees the Taxicab and Limousine Division, will authorize the creation of 150 new taxicab medallions.
The new medallions will be specifically designated for wheelchair-accessible cabs.
Right now, there’s just one wheelchair-accessible cab for every 20,000 Philadelphians who can’t be accommodated by standard taxicabs.
Revenue expected from the sale of the new medallions at $400,000 each works out to $60 million. The PPA plans to issue 20 to 30 medallions per year for the first two years — starting in 2014 — and then 15 medallions per year after that. Over the course of eight to 10 years, the medallions are expected to raise roughly $6 million per year.
So where will that money go?
It’s a question that Helen Gym, co-founder of Parents United for Public Education, has been mulling as the School District of Philadelphia has limped through its first few months of classes.
The short answer is: None of the medallion money will go to the cash-strapped School District.
All of it, in fact, will go to a fund controlled not by the PPA, but by the Pennsylvania State Treasury.