Sunday, December 18, 2011

An Outline for Making the Pilot Plan Permanent

I'm in my old home town of St. Paul, Minnesota for the holidays. As incredible as it may seem I'm related to most of the lovely women in this photo. In other words, this genetic pool is not responsible for my face.

But, on to 

My Plan.

I think the Pilot Plan as it is benefits most of the people in the industry and should continue with the following modifications:

(Click "read me" to continue reading post.)

The Waiting List should continue at least until all the drivers on it have been given their earned medallions:
  1. All new medallions issued, as well as revocations, should to go to the drivers on the Waiting List.
  2. This would be a just reward for their hard work and dedication.
  3. It would help service by keeping experienced drivers in the business.
  4. It would also help younger drivers who want to buy a medallion by keeping the Buyer's List and Waiting list separate.
  5. If the Waiting List disappeared many older drivers would opt to buy cabs thus keeping the younger ones waiting longer.
  6. Continuing the Waiting List would also continue a medallion system which is the fairest in the country. 
  7. I would have nothing against continuing the Waiting List permanently if a way can be found to keep earned medallions flowing into it.
The Age for Selling should be lowered to 65.
  1. This is a normal retirement age.
  2. It would limit the number of taxis sold so that companies wouldn't be overwhelmed by losing medallions and drivers wouldn't lose shifts en masse.
All taxicabs should be operated on a “gates and gas” basis.
  1. No new issues should allowed to be worked on an Affiliate or a Long Terms Lease (LTL).
  2. Cabs that are currently being worked as LTL’s or Affiliates should gradually be converted to gates and gas (G&G) over, say, a two or three year period in order to do as little harm as possible to the drivers working under these systems.
    1. As much as possible, these drivers should be allowed to keep their shifts.
  3. This would help the companies because G&G leases are more profitable and also would make the taxi businesses more predictable.
  4. Much of the corruption in this business (illegal subleasing) appears to be tied to the LTL’s.
    1. G&G are easier for the MTA to police.
    2. It would be more difficult for drivers to be exploited by having to pay excessive fees to get a shift.
  5. Better service would be given to the public by insuring that cabs are driven by professional drivers instead of relatives, friends and/or guys without A-Cards.
  6. It would lower the exposure of companies to catastrophic losses by making certain that only qualified drivers drove the taxis.
The SFMTA should get only 10% for the sale of a medallion instead of 15%. In other words, 10% of medallion sales should go to the MTA and 10% to the Driver’s Fund.
  1. New York and most other cities only get 5% from the sale of taxicabs.
  2. This would still give the MTA something around $4,000,000 a year.
  3. It would increase the Driver's Fund much faster. 
  4. A percentage of the meter drop could also go the fund.
All the money the SFMTA takes in should be put back into the cab industry.
  1. This would include money to improve streets so that traffic can flow faster and to improve the regulation of public events.
  2. Cab drivers and taxi companies are already paying sales and business taxes. It’s not right that we should pay more taxes than anybody else in the city.
  3. The money should go into improved training of drivers as well as enforcement against cab company corruption, illegal limos and so forth.
  4. And so forth could include studies and methods of improving service to the public.
  5. Any excessive money above the afore mentioned should go into the Drivers Fund.
There should be a Cab Driver’s Bill of Rights that includes:
  1. The right not to tip. A warning to this effect should be posted at every dispatching window with a number to call if this right is violated.
  2. All drivers who have regular shifts should be assigned a regular taxi in order to reduce the temptations for cashiers and dispatchers.
  3. A pro-rata reduction of the gate should be given to the driver if said driver isn’t (for whatever reason) allowed to work the entire shift (by the company) for which he or she contracted.
  4. There should be improved communication with taxi companies and the police in case of emergencies, harassment, assaults or robberies.
  5. There should be improved training for drivers on how to deal with or avoid the above situations.
  6. There should be better training for new drivers to improve their knowledge of the city and how best get around in it at various times of day as well as how to make money driving a cab.
  7. The use of the Driver’s Fund to help finance medical and retirement programs should be explored.
  8. The rest of the rights should be decided by the drivers themselves.

For all those dreaming of a white Christmas.

Happy Holidays!

1 comment:

  1. Well said Ed, and thank you for all your work and input, its valuable to the industry, Im a twenty year driver but never get to any of those meetings as i work those nights but Im planning on trying to make one or Two in the new year would love to sit down with you and have a coffee.

    Merry Christmas and a very happy healthy and prosperous new year.
    Im from the auld sod and I always dream of a white Christmas.