Tuesday, May 24, 2011
500 Corporate Cabs? 500 More Taxis????
Rumors have been running rife about what actually happened at the Paratransit Coordinating Council (PCC) meeting on May 18, 2011.
The rumor that struck terror into the hearts of cab drivers on the waiting list was that the PCC had passed a resolution advising the Board of Supervisors to put 500 cabs on the street and give them to Yellow, Desoto and Luxor Cab companies.
To Rua Graffis (of the UTW and the PCC), who voted against the measure, this meant corporate cabs and the death of the Waiting List.
To Hansu Kim (manager of Desoto Cab) this was just a misunderstanding. According to him Yellow, Desoto and Luxor thought that they should have most of the ramp taxis given to them since their vehicles did all the paratransit pick ups in the city. That is to say, that they wanted any future ramp taxis that the city released given to them.
And, yes, Kim also wants more cabs on the street but he wants only to see a few released at a time. He also wants them to go to "qualified drivers" not to cab companies. He added that nobody would be stupid enough to call for corporate or fleet taxis in this political environment.
Hansu, however, was not at the council meeting. Athan Rebelos, his general manager at Desoto was.
Athan (photo) had a slightly different story.
Rebelos, the indefatigable John Lazar of Luxor, and a Yellow Cab representative talked the PCC into advising the Board of Supervisors to put 500 more cabs on the street. I would guess that they told the council that these 500 taxis would be sent out into the neighborhoods to pick up paratransit people instead of (as well all know) deadheading downtown and to the airport. Or not? (See a rebutal to this by Athan in a comment.)
In sum: the companies convinced the council to advise the Board of Supervisors to give Desoto, Yellow and Luxor cabs most future Ramp Taxis, and to add 500 regular cabs to the San Francisco fleet - bringing the total to 2,000 taxis.
These cabs would not go to corporations, they would go to individual drivers like they do now. As to whether these taxis would be given or sold to drivers on the Waiting List was not addressed.
I called the PCC yesterday to clarify the matter and a representative told me that the Paratransit Coordinating Council had decided NOT to send any recommendation on at this time.
She said that a lot of people had been confused about the vote and that the PCC wanted to have another meeting on the subject before making any decisions.
The next PCC meeting is on June 22, 2011 at 10:30 am at 711 Eddy.