Thursday, February 17, 2011

Update On The Week In Taxis. By John Han

SF City Hall.  Photo by John Han.

The San Francisco Public Safety Committee approved legislation Thursday making it a misdemeanor to provide taxicab service in the City without proper permits.  Supervisors Ross Mirkirimi and Malia Cohen voted in favor of the ordinance.  Supervisor David Campos was absent.

The law includes allowing SFMTA to hire taxi investigators to issue up to $5000 in fines and impound vehicles that have been caught operating as taxicabs without permits.  A handful of taxi drivers and company reps, during public comment, unanimously supported the law.  But an attorney representing Uber, a town car and limousine dispatch service opposed it, saying it will wrongfully prohibit licensed limousine drivers from picking up passengers in San Francisco who are using its service.  The law is sponsored by president of the Board of Supervisors David Chiu.  It is expected to be heard at the full Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday, March 1, 2011.


At last Monday's TAC meeting, we discussed Uniform Lease Agreements.  SFMTA had presented a rough draft version of an agreement.  But it took only moments before the TAC concluded that a "one size fits all", uniform lease agreement would likely be inadequate to regulate the entire industry, and therefore would most likely need to be five separate standardized lease agreements.  In no order of importance, they are...

1)  Between the Color Scheme and the Affiliate
2)  Between the Affiliate to the Affiliate's drivers     (Affiliate is the primary driver)
3)  Between the Long term lessee (LTL) to the LTL's drivers (LTL is primary driver)
4)  Between the Color Scheme to its Gate and Gas drivers
5)  Between the Affiliate to Primary Driver Lessee/LTL     (Pre K Affiliate with no driving requirement.  LTL is primary driver)

As far as the details of what should be in a uniform lease agreement, a taxi town hall meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 22, 2011 for review and discussion, as there are no details to date.

It was suggested that cab companies volunteer viewings of the lease agreements they already use at their companies, so that an aggregate of existing agreements from various companies could serve as a skeletal reference or template.

The meeting will be held in the 2nd Floor Atrium, 1 South Vanness Avenue, 2 to 5 pm, and 5:30 to 8:30 pm.

1 comment:

  1. The proposed legislation is important and obviously much needed. The only interest it creates is if it does not pass - then some eyebrows should be raised. I have consulted all the posted regulations and changes, and I believe these are and fair regulations. (One old article proposed for deletion was not posted, so I cannot comment on that.)

    The revisions to contracts are being dragged out in a more public way than is needed. Time is being wasted, and if this drags on we are going to get an elephant designed by a committee. Most or all of the major companies use a variant of the Yellow contract. Why don't they, together with the City, just look at the Yellow contract, and articulate their exceptions to that template. THAT SHOULD BE THE AGENDA FOR THE TOWN HALL MEETING. This time Chris Hayashi is working too hard - she created a not unreasonable contract, but without referencing existing ones. Collating a new contract with any existing contracts is a necessary step either way. The Town Hall Meeting is not the correct forum for such collation of contracts.


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