At a high of $220,000 only a few years ago, taxi permits in Montreal are now worth $180,000, with a decrease of 20 percent in the last few months alone.
Dory Saliba, the president of the Montreal section of the Comité provincial de concertation et de développement de l'industrie du taxi (CPCDIT) says the two main reasons for this decrease in value are the Société de transport de Montréal’s implementation of the 747 bus route to the airport and Bixi bicycles.
Montreal is no New York City, where the value of taxi medallions — their equivalent to our permits — have increased by 1,000 percent since 1980. Just last month, two NYC taxi medallions sold for $1 million each. In Toronto, where there are two different taxi licenses, the standard license went for up to $250,000 in 2010, but that does not allow drivers to pick up passengers at Pearson Airport.
Why are taxi permits so expensive? Most cities issue only a set amount of permits at a reasonable price, and it is the taxi companies or drivers reselling the permits that drive up the value. The limited amount of permits available make them a rare commodity. In Montreal, as of Dec., 2010, there were 4,440 drivers with official taxi licenses.