Thursday, May 19, 2011

Taxi Meter Increase Vastly Unpopular With Public Riders. By John Han.

MTA Board Director Malcolm Heinicke listens to taxi drivers push for a
meter increase at Tuesday's Board meeting May 17th.  At that meeting,
Heinicke said that although he supports a meter increase for drivers, it
must be coupled with a "service increase" for the public, to solve why
it is so hard to get cabs in SF.  (Photo by John Han)
Have you looked at SF Gate lately?  Read any one of its articles or editorials about last Tuesday's vote by the MTA to approve a meter increase.  If reader comments reflect anything, the public is pissed!

Here's excerpts of comments from readers responding to "San Francisco Officials Approve Taxi Fare Increase", by the Associated Press and published on SF Gate May 17th.

  • "No more tips in the world's most retrograde city."

  • "less tip -- problem solved! we are not buying the scam, you dumbazz lefties!!!!!!!!!!!"

  • "'Oh your credit card machine mysteriously doesn't work? Well, I mysteriously only have $5 in cash on me.'"

  • "along with the fare increase was there any increase in service? you know, like better driving habits, getting me to my destination without white knuckles, following the traffic laws, not stopping in the middle of the street to pick up a fare, not trolling in the curb lane for fares and driving like a maniac when there's on in the cab ... simple stuff?

  • "If current cab fares are too low, why is there so much resistance to allowing more cabs in the city? The only reason there are hundreds of eager prospective cabbies waiting in the wings is that being a cab driver pays very well already."

  • "How many times does a cab driver tell you "cash only, card not work" so they can pocket more cash. Or the, "oh, shoot, I forgot to start the meter. These guys are scammers. If it costs me more to use cabs now, I will just reduce the tip to nothing. They also want to own the road. I have been told by them that they never want a driver in front of them, so they constantly race other cars. Very unsafe... Screw them."

  • "Id happily pay more if I could find a Taxi. Or if they turned up when you call one. Or if they actually knew their way around the City without my help."

·          "just take the black limos...........that is always around."

That's just a taste. There's more very negative reader feedback responding to, "Riders get nothing for SF taxi fare hike", May 18th, and "Cost of riding taxis to go up, and likely up again.", May 18th.

Readers of the SF Examiner are not too happy about it either.  Will Reisman's article, "Cab fares going up in San Francisco — but not as much as originally proposed.", drew equally negative responses.  

The MTA Board of Directors is under what may seem to be strong, opposing pressure from both the public rider-ship for better and more accessible services, vs. the taxi industry for a long overdue raise.  

Peak taxis, and a revisiting of Open Taxi Access are topics that may emerge.

Open Taxi Access is a plan that could make hailing and dispatching cabs in the City much more efficient by making smart phone apps like CabulousTaxi Magic, or even Uber standard features in all cabs.  It could especially be useful for callers in outer areas such as the Richmond and Sunset Districts, Outer Mission / Visitacion Valley, and Bayview districts, because it would not restrict callers to one company.  But the plan is currently shelved, and is alleged to be shelved due to influential, political connections from one of the City's cab companies. 

Peak taxis are scheduled to be discussed during town hall meetings in June.  


  1. The SFMTA cares more about lining their own pockets, than the public an the


    While I understand and emphasize with the public, the act and actions of some

    Of the drivers are in my opinion, a direct result of years of terrible policy making.

    So as usual the little guys get screwed while cities and corporations. Profit.

  2. "Riders get nothing for SF taxi fare hike". Why dont the papers and the public say this when everybody else gets their annual COL raise? And the drivers' raise is 8 years overdue. By their logic, they shd have figured service shd go down for all those years.
    "While I understand and emphasize with the public, the act and actions of some of the drivers are in my opinion, a direct result of years of terrible policy making." That's true, and I understand the public but I dont "emphasize" (sic) with them because they're mostly Yuppie babies.


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