Friday, August 10, 2012

The MTA's Plan to Rip Off Cab Drivers: The Arithmetic of Greed 1.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin - photo) has a new plan that is designed to transfer over $200,000,000 from taxi drivers to the MTA. Going from fairly innocuous to callous they want to:

1. Transfer (the MTA no longer uses the word "sell") medallions at a price of $300,000 with the MTA getting 30% instead 15% of the $250,000 under the current Pilot Plan.

2. Charge both Pre-k and Post-k medallion holders (who earned instead of bought their medallions) 50% to transfer their medallions for $300,000.

You heard that right. 50% - Five Zero - FIFTY PERCENT.

Did I say greed? The industry average for the sale of a taxi medallion (in New York, Boston, Chicago et al) is 5%.

While the MTA would take $150,000 from a $300,000 medallion, in Boston they would get $15,000 from the same medallion.

Conversely, a Boston medallion holder would keep $285,000 from the transfer or $135,000 more than a San Francisco driver.

Even the famous $1,000,000 medallion sale in New York only brought that city $50,000 leaving $950,000 for the medallion buyer and his or her banker.

The MTA justifies itself by claiming that San Francisco needs money. All the rest of these towns don't?

Greed, in context, seems an inadequate word. How about avarice, cupidity, rapacity, craving, lusting or money-grubbing?

Tomorrow: The Arithmetic of Greed 2 or Killing the Future.


  1. A 50% taxi tax to pay for bus drivers' benefits, perfect - because we all know that bus drivers deserve to retire in style while taxi drivers don't deserve to retire at all.

  2. I believe a few TAC members resigned today. I was one of them. No more being window dressing for me.

    1. Richard... is what Ed wrote... as to Reiskin's proposal.....accurate?

      I assume it is not, as it is so outrageous.... and the lack of the media picking it up...seems to say it is not accurate.


  3. Don't forget venal

  4. Can't do "JACK SHIT ABOUT IT" and they know it!

  5. Jack,
    Without studying word for word I say yes it is true. The driver will pay $300k versus $250k and the med. holder will get $150k versus the $200k pre tax now.
    What is just as bad is they changed the language from "shall" give meds to the list to "May" which of course guys waiting 12-14 years are screwed, blued and tatooed. There won't be any free ones you can bet your ass.
    As I said in my resignation MTA got $20 million and all the work to do the program was paid for by taxi industry fees and that still is not enough. Little wonder the Tea Baggers exsist

    1. Richard... Does that formula apply to the person who bought, with cash, their Medallion, a year ago, and now wants to sell it?

      The public thinks "Well, too damn bad, the Waiting List Medallion Holder, who got theirs by 20 years worth of driving cab...paid zero cash for theirs."

      The public forgets that the "Wait List Driver's daily gate fee paid $67. per day to the Medallion Holders of the cabs that the "Waiter" took out.

      ($2,000 a month lease income/30 days= $67. per day out of the gate fee to the current Medallion holder.)

      If the "Waiter" drives 250 days a year, he, in PRE-Paying for his eventual Medallion.... to the tune of 250 X $67 per daily gate...

      or... $16,750 a year....
      If the Wait Time is 20 years, he then has, in total, paid $335,000 the people who were the Holders of the Medallions he drove under....(20 X $16,750)

      so, under Heinecke's "New Rave World", our Medallion Owner wants to cash in his Medallion, the day he is awarded it... (assuming the Wait List was still rolling)... so he is "allowed" to sell it for $300,000, and keep HALF, and the City gets the rest.

      That is a heckuva deal.. Pay $335,000, and then sell for a net of $150,000.

      Ya can't beat that one.

  6. Jack -

    Richard is probably busy running his business so I'll answer this for you.

    The people who bought the medallion for $250,000 (with 15% to the MTA and 5% to a Drivers Fund) are the only winners in this scheme. If I understand it correctly (always possible) they will able able sell for $300,000 but with 30% to the MTA. This means that they will $210,000 rather than the $200,000 they get under the Pilot Plan.

    Unless they buy for cash, new buyers at $300,000 will end with less money then the drivers under the Pilot Plan. On a 15 years loan they would end up interest eating up an additional $18,000 - meaning that their medallion would be worth only about $192,000. But you are better with this kind of math then I am.

    Ed Healy