By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Philadelphia Parking Authority is lowering the opening bid for new taxi medallions because it’s been unable to sell any at the current asking price — which has been a surprise.

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Medallions are needed to operate taxis and no new ones have been issued in 15 years, so the PPA expected it would have no trouble selling the 45 approved by the state legislature. So it set the opening bid at $475,000.

But executive director Vince Fenerty says these medallions can only be used for wheelchair accessible cabs so it had to reassess:

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“We believe that purchasers may think it’s just a little too high because the start-up costs are much more with a handicap-accessible vehicle or taxi owners may just be holding out for a lower price.”

Either way, Fenerty says, they’re hoping for better results with a new starting bid of $350,000.

One fleet owner, Everett Abitbol of Freedom Taxi, says it’s a step in the right direction, but he wouldn’t commit on bidding when the new price takes effect next year.

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