SAN FRANCISCO—A lawsuit was filed against the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency in Superior Court on Tuesday, March 27 by the San Francisco Federal Credit Union over financial losses in relation to licensing medallions they provided to taxi drivers.
According to reports, the San Francisco Federal Credit Union claims that they have accrued massive losses due to the rise of transportation services like Uber and Lyft, who are not required to have medallions to operate their vehicles in the city. The company is seeking in excess of $28 million in compensation.
In addition to the lump sum that is being sought, the company’s administrators are requesting a court order that would require the city of San Francisco to buy back the medallions that have been rendered unsellable. The purchase price is $250,000. The medallion is a permit that allows a taxi driver to operate the vehicle.
The medallions used to be a necessity for cab drivers who used them to legitimize their dispensation of ride-services to San Francisco residents.
According to NBC Bay Area News, from 1978 and 2009, the medallions were free, but could not be sold or transferred to others. In 2010, former SF Mayor Gavin Newsom initiated the plan to sell the medallions for $250,000. The credit union financed the loans for taxi drivers that would then buy the medallions. According to reports, since 2010 over 700 medallions were financed, with the city receiving over $64 million in revenue.
The SFMTA has not released a statement to the public in response to the lawsuit that was filed. The San Francisco City Attorney’s Office is reviewing the case.