If I'm reading the tea leaves correctly, I think other protest leaders have decided to either follow suit or not protest at all. And, indeed, why should they? The MTA has already compromised or agreed to compromise on most of the driver's concerns.
Plus, it doesn't made a lot of sense to protest on a day when San Francisco's cab drivers almost certainly will be given a 20% raise.
The raise is one of two taxi items on the agenda for the SFMTA Board meeting on Tuesday.
1. A Meter Increase
of 10 cents for every 1/5th of a mile and 10 cents for every minute of waiting time, which was worked out by drivers at Town Hall meetings, has already been approved by the board.
In addition the board will discuss adding 40 cents to the flag drop thus raising the drop to $3.50.
That there is to be no discussion of a gate increase at this meeting is a good sign for the drivers. Hopefully, this means that the board has wisely decided that there should be no gate increase for the foreseeable future. If so, drivers will get a 20% raise even if credit card fees continue to be passed on by the companies.
2. The Issuance of New Medallions
The plan on the agenda calls for:
- 50 new single operator part-time taxi permits.
- 25 new full time permits given to drivers on the list.
- 10 new full time permits to be sold by the MTA.
- 2 full-time temporary electric vehicle permits.
The presence of this item is a good sign because it means that the back-door efforts of John Lazar of Luxor Cab and Jim Gillespie of Yellow Cab to kill the item (so that they could flood the city with taxis) failed.
Appointing Edward Reiskin to the position of Director of Transportation, effective August 15, 2011, will also be on the agenda.
What can also be expected is an hysterical, full-bore, slanderous, misogynistic attack on Deputy Director of Taxi Services Christiane Hayashi by the Mehmood. I'm sure that Tariq sees this as his last best chance to get rid of the nice lady that he's demonized. In this he'll be backed by a group of misinformed drivers who've never met and don't know Hayahsi, and a few of the more corrupt cab companies who want to continue cheating drivers out of their money.
It would be nice if taxi people who have worked with the Deputy Director and know what a fair, honest and brilliant administrator she has been would speak on her behalf. If you've done this before, please to do it again if you can. Show Director Reiskin the support she really has in the cab community. You owe it to yourselves.
The SFMTA Board meeting will be held at Room 400 City Hall at 1 P.M. Public comment usually takes place fairly soon after the meetings begin.