At this Monday's Taxi Advisory Council meeting (January 24th), we'll be continuing discussion on the effects the Pilot Program has had on drivers on and off the list. It will be a continuation of last weeks discussion, where I presented a report enumerating some of the negative effects the pilot program has had on those at the top of the list. I'm aware that for many, the pilot program has given them the opportunity to buy a medallion, which they otherwise would have had to wait several years for, but it's also meant that many who have already waited 10 or 15 years, will either not get one at all, or have to wait several additional years.
Most qualified drivers at the top of the list have already put in at least 15 to 20 years behind the wheel of a cab, and have at some time or another been robbed, assaulted, crashed into by negligent drivers, driven to their wits end, worn their backs out and more, yet many proponents of total transferability still like to say these drivers are receiving a "free" medallion if they don't purchase it and give close to half the money to the city and the banks.
This new system is devaluating the medallions. Even if the new owners will be able to eventually sell them and have equity, they will have less than if they were to have put that same money into a savings account!
If you're high on the list, and feel you're now having to wait longer for your medallion, or being unduly pressured to purchase one, it's important for you to show up at this Monday's TAC meeting and share your feelings. The TAC will be making recommendations soon for a more permanent solution and we need to hear from those who would be affected negatively by a total transferability system.
There will likely be drivers who'll say how happy they are to have been able to jump the line by paying the fee. I'm sure if they allowed drivers in the third lot at the airport to pay $10 to go to the head of the line, they'd be happy too. The drivers in the first lot might not be so happy however.
The following is a report presented by SFCDA at the last Taxi Advisory Council meeting held January 10, 2011.
Presented by Barry Korengold
Pilot Program Effects on Drivers