Thursday, May 19, 2011

Meter Increase - Yes, Gate Increase - Nyet, Nine, Buyao, No Way Jose

Traditionally cab companies have waited for a few months after a meter increase to implement a gate increase so that their drivers could a make a little extra money but John Lazar, President and General Manager of Luxor cab, isn't one to stand on custom. He's calling for a gate surcharge the instant the meter raise goes into effect.

Lazar and some other company owners argue that they need more money in order to provide services like computerized dispatch. But companies like Luxor have been relieved of millions of dollars worth or credit card charges that are already being passed onto the drivers.

 In addition, taxi companies have also had two gate increases of $5 and $7.50 since the last meter hike.

Hybrid Surcharge

The $7.50 is supposed to help cab companies cover the extra charges of purchasing hybrid cars. However the price of hybrid vehicles declined to the point where the cost was about equal a few years ago. And, although hybrid prices have gone up again, the difference is only $2,000 or $3,000.

Time for a little math:
  • $7.50*2 per shift = $15 per day *365 = $5,475 per year.
  • This means that this surcharge pays the companies from $15,000 to $18,000 over life of the vehicle.
  • If the car is new - subtract the $3,000 extra cost of the hybrid from the surcharge and you can see that companies are making $12,000 to $15,000 per cab off the last $7.50 gate levy.
  • Owners like Lazar, who buy their cars used, are basically paying for the entire cost of the cabs simply from this hybrid jack up. 


This is a big word. My dictionary defines it as "not right or reasonable, excessive, wrong, unethical, unfair."

All of which accurately describes taking a much needed wage raise away from drivers - in terms of both a gate increase and credit card charges - and giving it to taxi companies who've already taken more than enough relief.


  1. Lazar is the worst and terrible human being.

  2. Lazar days are numbered to dream for a gate
    increase. I see him facing this new movement
    of drivers who are feeling themselves very
    strong after these protests. No one will let
    Lazar etc. to get gate increase.

  3. Lazar is either brilliant and has the SFMTA in his back pocket, or......................

    He is so arrogant that and stupid, that he is bound to trip up at some point and

    He will be done, legally speaking, that is.

  4. Metro is opposed to a gate increase and the last I heard Town is also. Getting a %20 increase now does not do anything about the last 3 years and it is true the hybrids cost less than Crown Vics did when you factor in the gate increase.
    I consider the Hybrids to be the best and maybe only good rule imposed on us in 33 years aside from digital meters and radio dispatch. When I started not all companies even had radios and we had those 50 pound meters with a flag on them.
    I am hearing a lot of rumors that the Quake in Japan is going to drive all insurance up so if cab insurance and workers comp. takes a big hike I'll have to ask for a get increase.
    Let's face it the drivers pay for everything and then we tack on a little profit. It is silly to otherwise.

  5. In luxor cab, driver pays $ 5-10 to get the cab out at the start of the shift. Who takes this money home? It is been going on for the last
    30 years or so. So in Desoto cab and Yellow

  6. As one comments says that drivers are paying
    $ 5-10 to take the cab out beside the gate fee
    they pay. One would like to know that why
    this money has not been reported anywhere for
    the last 20-30 years. How the money is shared.
    How much share goes to an owner of the cab company or managers of the cab company.