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The Boston Globe


TOM KEANE | Boston’s broken cabs

Change is coming, and it’s with smartphone apps

Driving people someplace in exchange for a fee should be the classic small business, the perfect way for ambitious and hard-working folks to become entrepreneurs. It’s a low-cost enterprise to start up — all you need is a decent vehicle — and one that doesn’t require any exceptional training. If you drive competently, know the streets, and can interact well with customers, you can make a decent living and perhaps even more.

Not in Boston, though. To own a taxicab in the city requires one more thing: over $600,000. That’s the going rate for a medallion, the license every cab needs. That cost turns what should be an entry-level business into one dominated by a privileged few.

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