Medallion holder Brad Newsham, noting this flexible and expanding taxi math, drew an analogy between the MTA's meetings with cab drivers and the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs's pow-wows with American Indians. He thinks that the MTA will use the meetings to eventually steal medallions from us just as the U.S. used pow-wows to steal land from the Indians.
And, who am I to say he's wrong? There is at least one member of the MTA Board who is on record as wanting to grab all the medallions and lease them back to the drivers.
After saying that we should protest by walking out of the the meeting, Newsham went for a stroll himself - thus doing his part to turn his theory into a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Brad may know a lot about American Indians but he's sadly lacking in his knowledge of the San Francisco taxicab industry's recent history - maybe because he takes too many hikes. The reason that MTA Board Director Malcom Heinicke did NOT succeed in taking all our medallions last year was because of the Pilot Plan we came up with at the Town Hall Meetings.
In short, you can't win a negotiation by refusing to negotiate. If we had acted like Brad last year, the MTA would own all the medallions right now.
For those of us who stayed at the meeting Wednesday the subjects were: Electronic Waybills, Peak Time Cabs and Single Operator Permits.
Although this discussion took up a lot of time, there was little that was new added to previous talks on the subject.
People, like Driver Tariq Mehmood, who are against the electronic waybills, are concerned about:
- Uncle Sam.
- Big brother watching us.
- Unhealthy emissions.
- The possible inaccuracy of the waybills.
- The security can be managed.
- Big Brother is already watching us.
- Uncle Sam has better things to do.
- The statistics and the data that would be collected could be invaluable to improving the taxicab business.
- Accurate data would gain us more respect
- Are sick and tired of filling out the damn waybills by hand.
Talk about flexible and expanding math.
To be continued.