However, the seeds of this crisis go back decades, spanning mayoral administrations and regulatory regimes. The New York City medallion industry began in 1937, when the City Council passed the Haas Act. Designed to address an oversupply of taxis in the city, the Haas Act restricted entry into the taxicab market by limiting the number in the city to 13,595. To enforce this restriction, every taxicab was issued a numbered owners permit — or medallion. What the Haas Act did not do, however, was explicitly prohibit the transfer of these owners’ permits. Unlike other operating permits, owners of taxicab medallions were implicitly free to sell their permits.