It appears that Director Malcom Heinicke has convinced his colleagues that he is an expert on the taxicab business and they have taken in his gab hook, line and sinker.
Certainly, I doubt that anyone else on the MTA Board is cold enough to come up with a scheme like this.
Philosophically, the plan holds that public needs are more important those of any individual - especially if said individual drives a taxi. ("The city needs money, driver, and we volunteer YOU to foot the bill.") If enacted, the proposed legislation (on rough calculation) would result in the transfer of $100 million to $200 million from taxicab drivers to the SFMTA over a period of time - maybe more ... probably more.
I haven't gone through the specifics yet but in general the Medallion Reform Proposal would:
- Increase the transfer fee to the MTA from the sale of a taxi from 15% to 30% while increasing the price to $300,000.
- Allow Pre-K medallion holders to sell ... er ... I guess the world is "surrender" (as if the drivers had stolen the medallions when, of course, it's the MTA that wants something for nothing). Anyway, the "holders" can "surrender" their medallions to the MTA for $150,000 as opposed to selling them for $200,000 as they could have under the Pilot Plan.
- Force Post-K medallion holders to "surrender" their medallions to MTA for $150,000 instead of selling them for $200,000 as they could have under the Pilot Plan.
- Allow the MTA to turn around and sell the same medallions for which they had just paid $150,000 - for $300,000.
- Leave the drivers on the Waiting List who have worked the job hard and served the public well for fifteen or twenty years, who have followed all the rules and were promised a medallion if they did so, who have chosen to drive cabs instead of doing other jobs or following other careers, hundreds of whom are over sixty waiting for - NOTHING.
Maybe this should be re-named Medallion Deform.
There will be two Town Hall Meeting to discuss the particulars of this moral and political abortion on:
Tuesday, August 7 at #1 South Van Ness, 2nd floor Atrium from 1:30pm - 4:30pm & 5 pm - 8pm.
The following items will be on the agenda for the August 21, 2012 SFMTA Board Meeting, meaning that nothing we say at the Town Hall meeting is expected to have any effect. Talk about transparency, huh!