Sunday, December 11, 2011

DeSoto's Competition With Green Cab, And An Analysis On Whether Back Seat Tip Prompters Improve Drivers' Incomes. By John Han.

File photos by John Han.
Earlier this year a contest began between the presidents of DeSoto Cab and Green Cab, to see if tips prompted by rear seat passenger information monitors, (PIMs), really increases a driver's tip percentages, thus making drivers more money.  

Part of the reasoning behind PIMs was that if they were to increase drivers'  tip percentages, then 5% credit card charges imposed upon drivers would become a non-issue, since higher income from PIMs would 'more than make up for the credit card costs'.

The idea caught on.

Hansu Kim, DeSoto Cab's president, is and has been one of the industry's most ardent proponent of getting PIMs installed in San Francisco, and for allowing cab drivers to legally incur a 5% credit card cost.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Recap Of MTA Board Of Directors Meeting Held Tuesday, December 6th, 2011. By John Han.

MTA Board of Directors meeting,Tuesday, December 6,
2011.  Image from SFGovTV.
The MTA Board of Directors, (Municipal Transportation Agency), revisited 5% credit card fees, rear seat passenger information monitors (PIMs), and electronic waybills at its Tuesday, December 6th, 2011 regular meeting.

This was item #16 on the agenda and was for discussion only. In it, Nelson Nygaard presented its report on the three topics. 

The Board also voted 4-2 in favor of item #17, which includes expanding the Medallion Sales Pilot Program, by dropping the sellers' age requirement from 70 years old to 65. Now, medallion holders who are at least 65 years old instead of 70, and have a full-time driving requirement, or who have acquired a disability and are unable to drive, can now be eligible to sell their medallions under the pilot program.

According to MTA Deputy Director of Taxi Services Christiane Hayashi, there are currently about 135 medallion holders between the ages of 65 and 70 in San Francisco. But that number includes both Pre K and Prop K holders combined. And since Item #17, which passed, temporarily eliminates Pre K holders from being qualified as sellers, it's uncertain how many new sellers that would mean.  But it would be less than 135.

Quick Thought On Yesterday's MTA Board Of Directors Meeting. Cab Companies Want 500 More Cabs. By John Han.

File Photo by John Han
Cab company reps were at it again, taking the opportunity at Tuesday's MTA Board of Directors meeting, to urge the directors to issue 500 more taxicabs. This, after the MTA has already authorized 87 new medallions in August.

Under item #17 of the agenda, which included lowering medallion seller's ages from 70 to 65 under the Pilot Program, Yellow Cab manager Richie Wiener, added that the City should put out another 100 medallions right away.  Then, Marty Smith, manager of Luxor Cab, acknowledged Wiener's comment, but took the bolder step to urge the City that it should be 500.

I would like to take this moment to try to bring to the attention of readers, and hopefully the regulators, a response to this plea.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Nelson Nygaard Releases Study On 5% Credit Card Fees, Rear Seat Payment Terminals, And Electronic Waybills. Presentation Scheduled For MTA Board Meeting Tuesday, December 6, 2011. By John Han.

Rear Seat Passenger Information Monitor (PIM).  
File photo by John Han
The consulting firmed hired by San Francisco to study 5% credit card fees, rear seat passenger information monitors (PIMs), and electronic waybills, has completed its study and has now published its report.

The study, conducted by Nelson Nygaard, is scheduled to be presented with recommendations to the Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA) at it's regular Board meeting, Tuesday, December 6, 2011. (Under agenda item #16)

The firm, in its report, makes nine recommendations, including setting a minimum amount to passengers paying with credit cards, without specifying what a minimum should be.