SFMTA drives boost to cab-permit cost

By: Will Reisman : SFExaminer – excerpt

Proposal: The SFMTA is considering increasing the cost of taxi medallions.
The permits needed to operate taxis will cost more to purchase and will generate extra income for The City under a new plan by San Francisco’s transportation agency.
Holders of taxi medallions can operate cabs or lease out their vehicles to other drivers while still collecting a slice of the profits. Until 2010, the only way to obtain a medallion was to keep your name on a waiting list, but the permit could take decades to arrive.
For the past two years, cabdrivers have been able to skip ahead of a waiting list and purchase a taxi medallion for $250,000 as part of a pilot program. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which regulates cabs, also took a 15 percent transfer fee for medallion sales.
Now, the SFMTA wants to increase the cost of medallion sales to $300,000 and collect a 50 percent transfer fee. The minimum age for selling medallions would also be reduced, from 65 to 60. The proposal is projected to generate
$14 million for the agency over the next two years…
“The medallions are a public asset,” said Rose. “They should be managed in a way that benefits the public.”…

Artists alter Islamophobic ads on SF buses, MUNI adds disclaimers

By Nora : electronicintifada.net – excerpt

Days after shockingly racist and Islamophobic ads started appearing on city buses in San Francisco — paid for by a notorious anti-Muslim group led by notorious racist Pamela Geller — anonymous artists wheatpasted over the ads with an image of a hand and a stamp with the words “HATE SPEECH.”…
Additionally, the San Francisco Municipal Transit Authority (SFMTA) posted full-sized disclaimer placards on MUNI buses that carry the Islamophobic ads. The disclaimer says that “SFMTA policy prohibits discrimination based on national origin, religion, and other characteristics, and condemns any statements that describe any group as “savages.”…
“San Francisco said, ok, we’re not going to touch that with a ten-foot pole,” Billoo said. “We’ll give her the ad space. And so they caved because of the fear [of a lawsuit].”…

Some attorneys disagree with SFMTA’s stance, that a New York judge’s free speech determination has merit in a San Francisco case. We have not heard the end of this.

SF Affirms Transit-First Policy, Angering Drivers

planetizen.com – excerpt

Rachel Gordon reports on San Francisco’s “aggressive plan to install thousands more parking meters and to expand the hours they operate,” which has drivers fuming.
By targeting its parking policies “to encourage travel by public transit and sustainable modes of transportation,” as outlined in a new San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency document mapping out the city’s parking management strategy, planners and officials are upholding the city’s transit-first policy that has been in place for nearly four decades and reaffirmed by voters in 1999, 2007 and 2010. But this hasn’t stopped the city’s automobile users from speaking out. According to Gordon, “Some drivers in the city feel unfairly targeted and protective of the dwindling perks they have left.”…

The parking management strategy is scheduled to be considered by the Transportation Agency’s governing board on Sept. 18.