Note the irony. Tariq Mehmood, who proclaims himself to be the "powerful and great leader of the drivers" siding with Yellow Cab in trying to remove Deputy Director Christiane Hayashi.
Of course Yellow, Luxor, Town and Checker, not the drivers, would be the major winners of a successful Hayashi coupé.
There are several reasons for this.
- These cab companies coerce their drivers to tip and Hayashi has made this practice a $5,000 misdemeanor. She recently started busting limos. Enforced tipping and other illegal company activities are also on her hit list.
- The recent meter increase did not include a gate increase. The companies, especially Luxor, blame Hayashi who drafted the legislation.
- Hayashi helped create and has promoted Open Taxi Access (OTA) which Luxor and Yellow hate.
- Yellow and Luxor want 500 taxis to go to them - now. Hayashi doesn't want to put cabs out without public hearings.
- John Lazar of Luxor wants himself and his two sons to be given medallions without following the rules. Hayashi thinks medallions should only be given to working cab drivers.
So, why is Tariq Mehmood, "the driver's advocate," lining himself up with guys like these?
Well, fact is - he's done it before. Awhile back, when Yellow Cab was trying to force their drivers to pay $2,000 or $3,000 in gates a month in advance, Tariq attacked the UTW which was fighting to stop the pre-payments. Mehmood later backed legislation at the Board of Supervisors raising gates and ratifying gate overcharges. This did Yellow a tremendous service.
Why he did this? I can't say.