Report recommends SF slash available taxis to save industry

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt


Taxis in North Beach by zrants

San Francisco may slash the number of available taxi medallions — which dictates the number of cabs — by one-third, in a bid to “reinvigorate” the industry.

That’s one of a number of major recommendations released Wednesday from a respected taxi-industry consultant commissioned by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which regulates taxis but not ride-hails like Uber and Lyft.

It’s those tech titans that have the taxi industry and SFMTA concerned, as the old guard of drivers-for-hire lose significant ground in nearly every respect: There are twelve times more ride-hail trips across The City than taxi trips, according to city data, including lucrative rides to and from the San Francisco International Airport. To revitalize the industry in 2017 the SFMTA commissioned taxi industry expert Bruce Schaller, principal of Schaller Consulting, to analyze trends in San Francisco — and recommend a way out.

“How does the MTA as a regulator help the taxi industry innovate and step up?” Kate Toran, head of taxi services at SFMTA, told reporters in a press briefing Wednesday. That, she said, is the crux of this report… (more)

SF eliminates renewal fees for taxi medallion holders

By Jerold Chinn : sfbay -excerpt

Taxis in North Beach photo by Zrants

Transferable taxi medallion holders will no longer have to pay an annual renewal fee starting July 1 as a way to help medallion holders during the current hard economic times of the taxi industry.

Congratulations to all the taxi drivers who have put in a lot of energy to get his done. A well-deserved break.

Taxi drivers catch a break from SFMTA

By sfexaminer – excerpt

Fearing unfair competition from Uber and Lyft, The City just cut taxi drivers a break.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency board of directors voted unanimously Tuesday to approve waiving taxi medallion renewal fees for this year, which are $1,000 annually.

“We’re trying to level the playing field,” said Kate Toran, taxi director at the SFMTA… (more)

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.”…

The Phantom Cab Driver Phites Back

Taxi Advisory Councilor Dan Hinds, Taxi Services Investigator Mike Harris, Executive Secretary Mau Anu Flieder, TAC Chair Chris Sweis, Councilor John Lazar and Councilor Tim Lapp waiting to see if enough councilors would show up for a quorum. Only Councilor Carl Macmurdo made it before Sweis ended the meeting at 1:15 PM. Councilors Tone Lee and Athan Rebelos came as we were leaving. Eight Councilors are needed for a quorum.
Councilors Ruach Graffis, John Han, Tara Housman, Richard Hybels, David Khan, Barry Korengold and William Mounsey (half of the TAC’s 14 members) have resigned or are resigning over the SFMTA’s new Medallion Deform Plan…


In short, taxi companies and drivers are not happy with the SFMTA.