- The 1984 rally took place just before the Democratic convention that year and probably cost Diane Feinstein the chance to be the first woman to run as a Vice Presidential candidate.
- Nonetheless Feinstein won the argument, put more cabs on the street (the issue of that day) and went on to become a very powerful U.S. Senator.
- Lesson - honking horns don't necessarily make policy.
The drivers made their point - they don't like electronic waybills and they don't want to pay credit card charges. In addition, there were about a dozen other things that the hundred or so drivers who spoke at the MTA Board meeting either liked or didn't like - including some of which (selling cabs at open auctions or putting an end to the sales program) contradicted each other.
- Most of the drivers were, as advertised, the ones (mostly non-medallion holders) you never see at meetings.
- But there were also a fair number of medallion holders including friends from the SFCDA.
Many of the drivers complained about being forced to open bank accounts by companies like Yellow and Luxor; or being forced to give their social security numbers to open these accounts; or being hit by transaction charges; or being threatened if they tried to use Square or other Apps. If so, it should have been the companies that the drivers were protesting - not Taxi Services. To clarify:
- A driver does not have to use the back-seat terminal.
- He or she is entitled to use Square or any other App to process the credit card receipts.
- A driver should never pay more than 5% including all banking fees.
- If the drivers are being overcharged or threatened by a company they should contact Taxi Services.
At the Board Meeting I rhetorically asked, "If Green Cab can afford to pay their drivers credit card receipts why can't Yellow or Luxor Cab?"
- Actually my feeling are stronger than that.
- If Yellow and Luxor can't do anything without cheating their drivers, why should they get any break at all?
- To put it crudely: If they aren't satisfied with saving a $ million a year - screw 'em. They should continue picking up the tab.
Now for the most popular parts of my post.
I still think the back-seat terminals might work if installed properly and that they should be given a chance to prove or disprove their value.
Higher Math or Cutting Off Your Nose to Spite Your Face.
- One driver said that the 5% cost him $4.00 on a $24.00 ride. "It cost me my tip," he said. Actually, dude, what you lost at 5% is $1.20.
- The suddenly omnipresent Dean Clark claimed that the 5% would cost him $300 a month.
- Have either one of these guys calculated how much NOT taking credit cards would cost them every month?
- I mean, two $10 rides a day should easily cover the 5% charge.
Since you guys started complaining and refusing to take credit cards, I've been getting the best tips I've ever had in my life. I think of you as my living tip prompters.
When a customer gets in and nervously asks, "Do you take credit cards?" I smilingly say, "Of course I take credit cards - my customers always come first."
I repeat: the best tips I've ever had in my life. And, after the protests yesterday, they'll only get better.
Try a little showmanship. Smile through the pain.