Thursday, September 29, 2011

SF Taxi Driver Suffers Stroke While Driving His Taxi, Then Dies. Fellow Drivers Offer Money For His Burial. By John Han.

SF Taxi Driver Richard Odeboju
suffered a stroke allegedly while
driving a taxi.  He was taken to a
hospital by ambulance but died
eleven days later. 
On July 6, 2011, San Francisco taxi driver Barbajide R. Odeboju, (AKA - Richard Odeboju), was admitted into the hospital after suffering from a stoke, which allegedly occurred while driving a taxi.   

Odeboju, who was 58 years old, was Nigerian born and had resided in Oakland for at least 25 years.  He is said to have no next of kin in the United States. 

According to California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) records, Odeboju was taken by ambulance to CPMC's Davies Campus at 45 Castro St. in San Francisco.  He stayed there in the hospital until he passed away eleven days later on the 17th.

Stroke is listed as the "immediate cause" of passing away, according to public record, although an autopsy wasn't performed. 

In addition to, or aside from the facts so far, the following is an interpretation of an account that was offered to Taxi TownSF by Yellow Cab taxi driver Tariq Mehmood, regarding Mr. Odeboju's passing.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

How Is It Possible To Collect Unemployment And Work As A Taxi Driver? Answer By John Han.

Here is a question that was asked by a reader under the "Ask A Cab Driver" section.  

Q: "Hi everyone, My question is : how is it possible to collect unemployment and work as a taxi driver? i talked to some drivers in NY and they said too many drivers doing that!"

A: Anecdotally, this is because taxi driving has been an under the table, all cash business for decades. And since cab drivers are classified as independent contractors, there are no employee W-2 forms issued by the cab company.

And since cab companies are considered vehicle leasing services to drivers, (in other words, they're in the "taxi related" business of renting taxicabs to drivers, not taxi service itself to the public), they do not issue 1099 forms to cab drivers for services paid for and rendered to the cab company by the cab driver. 

So there's no paper trail either by W-2 or 1099. This is most likely how taxi drivers have been able to collect unemployment or other government benefits, since there was no evidence of any income. 

This may or may not begin to change come 2012 because of a new IRS rule. In 2012, cab companies under the new law will have to issue 1099K forms to all their cab drivers documenting all fares paid by credit and debit cards. This will for the first time in over thirty years verify at least part of a taxi drivers income, and may make it harder for cab drivers who are simultaneously collecting unemployment.

Announcement From SFMTA, Oracle Convention In October.


The 2011 Oracle Open World conference will be held on OCTOBER 1ST thru OCTOBER 6TH at the SF Moscone Center.

There will be temporary taxi zones set up as well as a detour routing as a result of the Howard St closure.  See attached for the date and times of the convention, as well as the scheduling details of the detour/street closure, along with the locations of the taxi zones.

CLICK HERE to view details.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

SF Symphony and Opera Schedules. Taxis Requested. From the SFMTA

SF War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Avenue
@ McAllister St.
Taxis needed during October 2011.  War Memorial Opera House Activity Schedule.  
October 1st - 31st, 2011:

CLICK HERE to view details.
SF Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave
@ Grove St.

Taxis needed during October 2011.  Davies Symphony Hall Activity Schedule.
October 1st - 31st:

CLICK HERE to view details.

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency

San Francisco Municipal Railway | Department of Parking & Traffic | Division of Taxis & Accessible Services
One S. Van Ness Avenue, Seventh Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103 | Tel: 415.701.4400 | Fax: 415.701.5437 |

Friday, September 16, 2011

Serial Robber Caught? SFMTA Announces Arrest In Recent String Of Taxi Robberies.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) has announced that there has been an arrest in the recent string of taxi robberies.

Most of these robberies occurred at or near the intersection of O'Farrell and Beideman St near Divisadero.  At least eight robberies against taxi drivers have occurred here since July, and are believed to have been by the same suspect.

Photos of the alleged robber that had previously been posted on this website have been taken down because of the announcement of the arrest.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Recap of Monday's Taxi Advisory Council Meeting, September 12, 2011. By John Han.

The San Francisco Taxi Advisory Council, (TAC), discussed, but did not vote on whether the Medallion Sales Pilot Program should allow some older medallion holders to pay money in exchange for reducing their driving requirement.  

The proposal titled, "Limited Driving Requirement", was introduced by Barry Korengold of the San Francisco Cab Drivers Association (SFCDA).  

Under current regulations, medallion holders typically must drive at least 800 hours per year in order to keep their medallions.  Exceptions would be if the medallion holder also manages a cab company, or is disabled.   

The SFCDA proposal would adjust the Medallion Sales Pilot Program to allow medallion holders who reach the age of 55 to pay $100 per month ($1200 per year), in exchange for reducing their driving requirement to 600 hours per year.

Friday, September 9, 2011

SFMTA Seeks To Hire Consultants For Two-Year Taxi Study. By John Han.

Photo by John Han.
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, (SFMTA), put out a ‘Requests For Proposals’ (RFP) calling for consulting firms to bid on a two-year taxi study, that the agency hopes will answer some of the industry’s most daunting issues.

The study, titled as, “Best Practices Study of Taxi Regulation”, hopes to address about seven key areas – 
  1. Surveying the public rider-ship (listed as top priority) and then interviewing industry stakeholders.
  2.   Researching the taxi industry’s national and international best practices.
  3.  Developing a method to determine the public demand for taxi service and if there’s enough cabs to meet that demand, or if there needs to be more taxis.  Developing a method to help the SFMTA analyze taximeter rates, and determine if meter rates need to be adjusted.
  4.  Developing a method to help the SFMTA to analyze gate fees, and determine whether gate fees need to be adjusted.
  5. Helping the SFMTA develop performance standards in the field of taxi regulation.
  6. Recommending taxi regulation reforms in a number of key subject areas.
You can view the RFP by CLICKING HERE

The study includes looking into the distribution of cabs, which can mean that it includes looking into the dispatching systems, and what technologies would be available to improve it.