Supervisor Scott Wiener Opposes Fare Increase for "Inadequate Taxi Service"

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Has visceral feelings about the MTA
Yesterday, we told you about how the Municipal Transportation Agency was seriously considering making San Francisco one of the most expensive cities in the nation to travel by taxi.

And if anything riles residents into raging convulsions it is Muni delays, parking tickets, and the idea of shelling out more money for a three-minute taxi ride.

Supervisor Scott Wiener isn't taking kindly to the proposal either. After learning about the plan to jack taxi fare rates by more than 20 percent, Wiener went public with his feelings on the matter. He is planning to go on record at today's Board of Supervisors meeting as officially opposing the higher fares.

In fact, this proposal goes entirely against what Wiener wanted two months ago -- more taxicabs during peak hours citywide.

In March, the supervisor was quoted as saying that the city has "insufficient taxi service," and called on the MTA to issue more permits during peak hours or find some way of making more taxis available. But instead of following that direction, the agency decided to take the easy route and ask for higher fares.

"Anyone who has tried to flag a taxi during rush hour or phoned for a cab on a Friday or Saturday night knows that the city is underserved by its current taxi fleet," Wiener says. "But instead of trying to put more taxis on the street, the MTA is proposing to charge people more for the same inadequate service. This is not the right direction for our transportation system."

Does Wiener consider this plan "beyond incompetent?"

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Dean Clark
Dean Clark

I think we should investigate other ways, like a centralized dispatch first. I have noticed a growing interest in taxi mojo which is a smart phone application that allows San Francisco residents to hail a cab with their own phone as opposed to calling up the dispatchers and praying they get a cab.

I found it while browsing the web.


The problem with the above position is that it does not take into consideration the lives of the taxi drivers. Yes, we have some of the most expensive rates in the city, but we also live in one of the most expensive do the taxi drivers. Moreover, part of the reason taxi drivers are pushing for such an increase is because the taxicab owners have instituted a credit card policy that now charges the DRIVERS 5% of the amount charged. Taxi drivers already deal with low wages, a job that most people don't want, and terrible and long hours. Instead of taking to task the blue-collar drivers of the city, why not take to task the taxi companies themselves that are bilking drivers, unnecessarily, a 5% take of any credit card charged fare. 

The need for more taxi license however is a real good issue to push with the city though. 


Thanks to Supe Wiener for opposing Muni's cab fare proposal.

Muni's just driving us into the Gipsy Cabs.

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