By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Parking Authority held the first sale of new taxi medallions in 15 years last week. The results were a surprise to everyone.

What if they threw an auction and nobody came? That’s essentially what happened when the Parking Authority offered the first two of 45 new medallions last week.

“There were no bids,” said general counsel Dennis Weldon. Weldon says he’s not too worried at the lack of bids. He doesn’t think it’s the price, though at $475,000 they’re nine times more expensive than the last ones issued 15 years ago.

The price has gone up as existing medallions, which are needed to operate a taxi, have been traded privately.

Weldon thinks it’s like any new process. “They’re not used to it, so as we go along, people will become more accustomed to it and we anticipate more people will submit bids,” he said.

The medallions, which must be used on handicap-accessible cabs, are being sold 2 to 3 at a time each Wednesday through the rest of the year.

Three will be available for sale this week.

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