Friday, April 20, 2012

Saam Aryan Accuses SFMTA Of Violating State Laws.

(Note from the blog's administrator - this article is published in the interest of free speech.  The following views are those of its author, and not necessarily the views of the blog's publisher.)

By Saam Aryan. 

Proposition 26, approved by voters on 11/2/2010, requires local taxes to be approved by voters.  Before, local governments would put a misleading label “fees” to bypass that.  That loophole then got closed.  

Now a charge is Tax, if the charge specifically does not benefit those who pay the charge.

Millions that SFMTA got from us is equivalent to getting around 5 Billion dollars from those in San Francisco.  California Constitution Article XIII-C Section 2 says you need 2/3 of the voters to do that.

They get away with this, and other laws that they broke,  because nobody presses charges.  I brought that to the Supervisors that reelected Mr. Malcolm Heinicke.  They do not give a damn.  They just had our time wasted because they had already made their mind before they got into the Room 263, today 4/19/12.  If our comments were noteworthy to Supervisors, then they would consider its truthfulness and relevancy before approving Mr. Malcolm Heinicke unanimously. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

MTA Board To Hold Lengthy Taxi Discussions In Either Mid May Or June. By John Han.

Director of SFMTA Ed Reiskin at Tuesday's
April 17, 2012 MTA Board meeting.
Image from SFGovTV
Ed Reiskin, Director of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), said Tuesday that his agency would hold public discussions for "a host of taxi-related matters", either in mid May or early June.

At Tuesday's regular Board meeting, April 17, 2012, Reiskin said a discussion on credit card fees, electronic waybills, back seat monitors, police code and legislative changes, and medallion sales would be on the agenda for the meeting scheduled May 15th.   

He added that a study for public convenience and necessity, that includes recommending whether to add more cabs in the City, involves an environmental impact study and would be ready this fall.  

But during the meeting's public comment Reiskin corrected himself, saying that the taxi issues may not be heard until the first week of June instead.

"Whenever it is, we will make sure to do outreach to all of the stakeholders", Reiskin said.  "I think our intent is to try to keep the agenda as clear as possible of non-taxi items, so that we can focus on the many and challenging taxi issues that we're going to be facing." 

SFMTA Board Chairman Tom Nolan added, that he would like to have a specific time set in the meeting to begin the discussions, so that people would know what time the discussion start, and not have to first sit through hours of non-taxi items.  

If those were to be the case, that could come as good news to long-time taxi advocate Barry Taranto.  

During public comment, Taranto said, "I think it's important to make sure you schedule enough town hall meetings, so enough of it is vetted out by the industry and the stakeholders before it comes before the MTA.  We could have people coming here and screaming we never got a chance to look at this".  

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Malcolm Heinicke's Confirmation Hearing Scheduled Thursday, April 19, 2012. By John Han.

For those who haven't heard yet, Malcolm Heinicke is being re-appointed to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) Board of Directors.

The appointment is made by Mayor Ed Lee, but the Board of Supervisors must confirm his re-appointment.  His confirmation hearing is scheduled for Thursday, April 19, 2012, at the Board of Supervisors Rules Committee, 1:30pm, Room 263.   

The committee members are Supervisors Jane Kim, Mark Farrell, and David Campos.

It is Item #4 on the Regular Calendar. 

CLICK HERE for more information. 

Whether Heinicke's re-appointment is a good or bad thing, I care not to say, as it's not the point of this essay.  I'd rather just try to quickly highlight some of Heinicke's more notable influences on the taxi industry, starting with when the SFMTA took over regulations of taxis in 2009.  

As many already know, Heinicke was appointed by former mayor Gavin Newsom to the SFMTA Board in 2008, and previously held a seat on the now defunct Taxi Commission.  

Here's a description from the SFMTA's website

"As a Taxicab Commissioner, Mr. Heinicke focused on neighborhood and peak time service issues, and he is focusing on these same issues as a member of the SFMTA Board."

But despite Heinicke's commitment to those noteworthy causes, he grew to near infamy amongst many people in San Francisco's taxi industry for something else.

After the SFMTA gained regulatory control over the taxi industry in 2009,  Heinicke proposed to turn the City's taxi medallions into what was, and still is called a "cash cow" for the City, but not very cash cow for the taxi industry, or its workers.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Are You Paying Any Attention To The Trend Affecting The Taxi Industry? By Saam Aryan.

(Note from the blog's administrator - this article has been submitted to Taxi TownSF and has been published in the interest of free speech.  The following views are those of its author, and not necessarily the views of the blog's publisher.)

It reminds me of the state of the mind of those living in thriving and prosperous towns; now Ghost Towns.  Obviously many think that the overhead imposed by SFMTA is good for us because some are benefiting presently.  Get your own answer so you can convince yourself.  Ask your taxi passengers how often they use UBER CAB.  Keep a record of the answers and compare it every few months.  Presently, UBER town cars pickup their customers in around 8 minutes.  Pretty soon they will have the ability to do it in around 5 minute.