The subject of electronic waybills was also discussed. Director Hayashi pushed for them because they would end the possibility of anyone handing in fraudulent waybills and allow her to gather accurate information on taxicabs for the 1st time ever. Many drivers, on the other hand, were less enthusiastic about the idea. Council member Bill Mounsey especially disliked them because he felt that an electronic watchdog would restrict his freedom.
During public comment, Driver Eric Hattan brought up UberCab - an illegal, high-tech taxi service that is using San Francisco as a beta test before going into other markets.
But for me, the most interesting facet of the afternoon was a brief preview of the "Gates and Gas" (GG) vs Long Term Lease (LTL) debate.
Counciler John Lazar of Luxor cab showed concern over the fact that most of the buyers were opting for the LTL. He said that:
- Because the payments for the loans were more for the buyers than they could earn from a GG arrangement, they were "forced" to go to LTL.
- This was causing numerous experienced drivers to lose their shifts.
- The California EDD was going after Luxor as a test case and would later go after every other company.
- The EDD considered GG drivers employees and LTL drivers Independent Contractors.
- This seemed to imply that it would be less expensive and more profitable for cab companies to go to LTL.
TAC decided that they needed to know:
- How many cabs were on LTL?
- How many were GG/
- What percentage of buyers were going LTL?
- The effect on public service.
Council member Timothy Ajaegbu (right) said that he was very concerned about this trend because he is a gates and gas driver.
A further and deeper discussion of GG vs LTL is on the agenda for next week.
If you are concerned about your shift or the future of the taxi business, you should try to be there. The turnout so far has been amazingly small. You don't know what you've been missing. This is better than Reality TV. For one thing, it's really REAL.