Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Thoughts on the Meter Increase

The SFMTA Board okayed a meter increase of ten cents for every 1/5th of a mile and 1 minute of waiting time. They will take up the question of an increase in the drop from $3.10 to $3.50 at the next meeting. For more complete coverage see John Han's blog.

Here I'm simply going to expand on the short talk I gave to the SFMTA Board.

The Need for the Meter Increase.
  • Many people have pointed out that the cost of living has gone up 19% since the last meter increase.
  • The increase the Board passed (including the additional 40 cents on the drop) would equal 22%.
  • Therefore - it's simply a matter of catching up.  

After the meeting, I went to work and discussed the increase with my customers. Of course nobody likes the idea of paying more for anything but the people I talked with accepted the raise without much complaint - making me think that the amount we settled on was just about right.

Nix on a Gate Increase.

The vote hadn't even been taken before John Lazar, President and General Manager of Luxor Cab, stood up and pushed for a gate increase of just 75 cents a hour so that Luxor could keep on giving it's full service including computerized dispatch.

What a salesman? 75 cents an hour doesn't sound like much does it? Let's take a closer look. That means:
  • $7.50 a shift or  $15.00 per day = $5,475 per year per driver profit for Luxor.
  • $7.50 a shift paid by drivers * 5 shifts per week = $37.50 *52 weeks = $1,950 per year out of the drivers profits - off the top.
  • If non-medallion drivers average $25,000 per year, a 20% meter increase = $5,000.
  • Meaning that almost 40% of the income boost would be eaten up by the gate increase.
  • Meaning that they've already more than lost their cost of living increase.
More later.

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