Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Small Turnout for MTA Protest

Yesterday saw the smallest taxi protest since the MTA took over taxicabs almost four years ago. This photo shows seven cabs which made up the longest honking line during the period while I was there. This was a far and distant cry from the May 4, 2011 honk-a-thon.

Maybe drivers are protested out? Or, maybe they think that protests are of limited value? Or, maybe the issues aren't fully embraced by many drivers?

While almost all drivers are probably against the idea of letting the MTA lease medallions to companies, the question of favoring Affiliate or Long Term Leasing is much more divisive. Many veteran drivers have lost their shifts because of these leases and many of the vehicles are used for illegal subleasing. Many people think that LTL's have caused a loss of professionalism and service in the industry. It's also by no means clear whether or not the non-medallion holders working under the leases are happy with their circumstances.

In any case, like a homing pigeon reaching home, Tariq Mehmood found his way to the front of a camera.

One protester displayed a sign of an unusually high literary level.


  1. Another way to look at it, Ed, might be to recognize that it was probably the biggest MTA protest EVER on a day when there were no taxicab related items on the agenda. It might be interesting to note that in fact the MTA pulled taxicab items from the agenda when it became apparent that there would be an enormous reaction to the recent proposal to give the companies 500 medallions and to take a minimum of $12 million per year from the cab industry and give it to the SFMTA.

  2. Wrong on both counts, Brad.

    One of the huge protests last spring was on a day when no taxi items were scheduled. The 3/6/2012 taxi items were pulled by the Secretary to the Board of Directors, Roberta Boomer, because she thought that there were too many items on the docket. She didn't bother to talk to anybody about the change until she's already made it. The people at Taxi Services expressed annoyance about it because they say they want a permanent plan put in place as soon as possible.

    Removing the items until May is especially inconvenient for the medallion holders who have an opportunity to sell. Since they don't know what future will be, they don't know if they should sell now or not? But they're just medallion holders so EFF em.

    I'm also surprised that more drivers were not protesting the $12,000,000.


  3. Dear Medallion Holder,
    If you think your Medallion is not in danger, think again. You need to inform yourself some more. Start reading about what is going on around you. I would start with going on this websites; also, further researching the issue by yourself.

    The following site indicates that Ms. Hayashi was the DIRECTOR of SFMTA TAXI DIVISION. Because she did not get enough money from taxi industry, SFMTA voted to remove her from DIRECTORSHIP. She is now DEPUTY DIRCTOR. Next site says: “On September 1, 2009 Chris Hayashi was demoted from Director to Deputy Director for not enthusiastically embracing a plan drawn up by MTA Director Malcom Heinicke. The same Heinicke who has received a letter from my pal to fire Hayashi because she wants too much money from the taxi industry. That Heinicke's plan was not adopted was largely due to the later efforts, determination, creativity, and negotiating ability of Hayashi. Without her, there would be no list, No driver's fund, No medallions sold, No medallions bought, No medallions period. Drivers would be treated far worse than they are now; with no hope of ever improving their lot. Service would rapidly decline as a result. Hayashi deserves awards not attacks. Heinicke is still pushing his plan.”

    I believe that this strategic planning by SFMTA, weakens three pillars of the taxi industry (cab companies, drivers--with and without medallions) before its total collapse. This is not some imagination; the actions have and are unfolding right now by SFMTA.
    1. SFMTA froze the expansion of the waiting list.
    2. SFMTA attempted to cut the waiting list to 1100. (Now the list is close to 3000).
    3. SFMTA started selling the medallion to those far away from top of the list, making close to 50% of the list lose over 500 million collectively and wait over 500 years on average.
    4. SFMTA indicated the desire to get 1/3 of the entire medallions to them.
    5. SFMTA also started the shrinking of cab companies. Now those that die so does their color scheme and dispatch. In addition, they stopped formation of new cab companies. Pressure, fees, and nitpicking have started; making it harder for us to operate.
    6. SFMTA wants three layers only: SFMTA, then large cab companies, then gas-and-gate drivers only. No more affiliates, you would be giving your medallion to cab company for a monthly fee and drive for gas-and-gate only. In the future, not having control, your check could get smaller and your gate fee larger.

    Previously City tried to get all the medallions but the resistance was too strong. Now to take the shock away, they are doing it gradually. However, all the medallions will go back to SFMTA if we do not fight for our legal Rights. Those of us that are monitoring can see that SFMTA has changed the tactic. Meter increase was the Trojan Horse; inside resided their plan to funnel money from us to SFMTA. We need a Court’s injunction to stop SFMTA from further damaging us then remove them through ballot. These I believe. $1,000 contribution for a Medallion holder, for a fight to assure the future of their medallions, is nothing. We have started to get the checks.

    Checks will not be spent unless a group of trusted people, on the banks signature card, approves it.

    To get on email list, send an email to: CHC-SF@LIVE.COM.

    Mail checks, with your cell number, to the:

    CHC, CHASE Act. # 913720009,
    PO BOX 426742
    SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94142.

     Question? Call Saam Aryan at 415-626-TAXI 

  4. Does Salvador Dali enjoys looking at his picture as much as we do? Maybe his thoughts is at some other dimension and he is wondering how many out there can see what he can see.