Photo by John Han.
The MTA Board of Directors will once again be discussing taxi items during its Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011 regular meeting.
Although the agenda has not been posted yet, one main item to be discussed will be whether to issue up to 125 new medallions. That number could be looked at in any combination of part-time, peak-time, single operator / single shift, full-time transferable, or full-time non-transferable medallions. Should be an interesting discussion to anyone who cares about taxis.
But what about resolving the credit card fees issue... its rate being an excessively high 5% because it has to help pay for rear seat payment terminals? And, what about implementation on the distance and wait time meter increase that was approved by the Board on it's May 17th meeting? How about the flag drop increase that was supposed to be reviewed at its June 21st meeting? All these items were supposed to be discussed June 21st. Instead, all taxi items were cancelled that day.
Hopefully, the MTA Board will revisit ALL of these items August 2nd, in addition to it considering whether to issue up to 125 new medallions, as all of these items are important... at least to taxi drivers. So please MTA, let's talk about them.
Credit Card Fees At 5% and the Taxi Advisory Council:
With respects to the Taxi Advisory Council (TAC), the TAC will discuss credit card fees as its sole agenda item on Monday, July 25, 2011.
Therefore, may it suffice to say for now, that the SFMTA's current policy on 5% credit card fees is perceived by many within the industry to have been authored as a result of a closed door meeting, or meetings, between SFMTA Taxi Services Division, and mainly one single but influential person within the industry. A person who is also said to be a paid consultant for one of the technology providers that makes the rear seat payment terminals, or "Taxi TVs".
The Taxi TVs are linked inseparably to the credit card rate of 5% that drivers tend to abhor, as well as they tend to abhor the machines themselves. But the machines are being installed. The companies are doing it.
And because the machines are said to be costly, and because the drivers are being required by the MTA under its current policy to pay for the machines through the credit card fees, the drivers shall be charged a processing rate of 5%, rather than a lower rate.
To read more about credit card fees and why the 5% rate is linked to rear seat payment terminals, CLICK HERE.
To read what I have proposed as a solution recently, and what people have called a reasonable solution (not a perfect solution), please CLICK HERE.