Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Proposed Decision of CPUC Commissioner Michael R. Peevey

I think I've fallen behind a lot of people in that I'm just beginning to read the decision now. Thus, I'm in no position to make misleading comments on a subject I don't fully understand. In short, I'm not ABC or the Bay Citizen or the SF Weekly.

I can tell you that the item is targeted to appear on agenda 3321 for the Commission's Business Meeting on 9/5/2013 but it may appear later. A binding decision may be made then or later, and the Commission "may adopt all or part of it as written, amend or modify it, or set it aside or prepare its own decision."

We thus have until at September 5th to influence the final judgement. Best to read the document yourselves. Me being me, I'll probably be giving you my thoughts on this sooner than later.

CBS coverage at the Protest = halfway decent for a change.


  1. I have only skimmed it myself but one thing that caught my eye is the fact that they demand $1 million excess coverage but ignore the insurance companies saying that they are not in that business.
    They do rely heavily on CHP opinions and that is a good thing I think.
    meanwhile I heard from a reliable source that a Lyft was at fault last weekend in an accident with a Luxor.
    It would be tempting for Luxor to inform the Lyft drivers insurance co what was up but then they would end up having to sue a probable dead beat for their damages.
    BTW thanks to all for the demo yesterday. Great turnout but the media did not capture the extent of drivers involved.

  2. Not only did the media not capture it, ABC totally ignored what we said and ran part of Lee's inaugural speech praising the SHITS as if he'd been talking yesterday.

  3. CBS, on the other hand, gave fairly decent coverage to the event. Especially in the Video - although they also couldn't resist quoting Mayor Lee (from another day) since he lacked the courage to show up at the protest.

    The Phantom

  4. Wouldn't want to steal your thunder on the subject at hand. However, this is my analysis of the situation. It is not good news for the cab industry at all. Medallion holders have a different job/revenue situation than non-owners. Thus, different ways of looking at these proposed regulations and their impact.

    My view is one from a non-owner.


    The taxi industry has been deregulated. Unless Moses comes down from the mountain with a new waybill that prevents the rogue apps to be in business. It is done a deal. Circling around City Hall will not change a thing. Loud PA's messages will not help either. 60 seconds of TV ? Desk pounding & yelling at the public meetings just damages further the cabbie image.

    The only thing that will help is for the taxi industry (all of them, as a team) to hire professional lobbyists (marketing blitz to change the image/perception) and lawyers that can sue the heck out of these regulations and stop the race, as some other cities have done. Like NYC for instance.


    Any company (could be of 1 person show) that gets certified by the CPUC can pick up passengers via an app. In order to get certified, they don't need anything other than a web site that can re-direct their prospective drivers to sites that provide background checks, drug testing, driver training and insurance liability. Voila, they are a mobile-cab company.

    Just like the rogue apps do today.

    This ruling alone changes the cab marketplace for ever.

  5. You seem to be implying that (1) I'm an owner and I'm not, and (2) that I think this is a good ruling. I have yet to address the subject. All I have to say for now is that it could be worse.

    No - of course protests don't change anything but they're fun and can bring people together. And, the PA messages contained excellent information. It's too bad the clowns we call the local press didn't convey any of it to the public.

    The only cab driver I know who pounds desks and yells at public meeting is Tariq Mahmood who is ignored by all but his dwindling core of minions. I agree with you - he hasn't changed a thing.

    As for hiring teams of professional lobbyists to change image/perception; who has more money Uber or us? Plus TechCrunch owns stock in Uber and, judging by the coverage, most of the rest of press appears also to be at least partially owned by the venture capitalists backing the SHITs. Everybody who hasn't done much politics and doesn't have any money always comes up with the idea of hiring lobbyists and buying politicians. People with money, like Uber, simply buy them and don't talk about it.

    One good thing that the CPUC has done is guarantee that people driving their own cars to make extra money are not going to pay for their own million dollar insurance polices.

    The ruling is not yet a done deal.

    I love people like you who give up before the game is over and think it's a form intellectual superiority. It's so much easier.

  6. Ed you are a fighter , and I am in your corner.. Protest was very important as it showed solidarity, and that showed each other that we are not alone.
    Of course protest alone is just one step to achieving our objective of protecting the regulated cab industry which is a benefit to the community of San Francisco. A regulated Cab industry that is essential in helping San Francisco's social,cultural and economic health.
    Just a side note I called San Francisco city Attorney's Office to find out what it's position on NOET's or TNC or what ever you call these Lyft type vehicles and the woman who answered the phone was fully aware of the protest and transferred me to the City Attorney' press secretary to give me more info.
    We in the Cab Industry must work on two fronts we must work to make TNC/NOET situation manageable at CPUC, and Board of Supervisor level , and we must improve Cab Service through increased cabs, a good mobile platform on par with UBER, and maybe some type of monthly meeting , of Driver SFMTA, Cab Companies, Medallion holders and financial stake holders, who can hire consultants on need to be basis and improve communication between all stake holders in industry.
    Cab industry is hurting and in danger but not done. I see Cabs doing bulk of transportation work on evenings I work..

  7. brother where are thou ?

    1. i am not implying that you are a medallion owner. said bunch have a different view of the shoreline.

    2. i agree tariq is on the dramatic side of the aisle, which is good passion in an otherwise bare landscape. however, his focus -well intentioned, as it may be- is on the pennies while the ship sails to the horizon.

    3. totally agree that the SHITs do provide a plan B for cab drivers. i guess not a total loss.

    4. who is giving up ? i will make my last pitch to the plantation owners where i toil about spending/investing serious money (they have it. i know) on getting power lawyers to sue the pants of all of these apps gone rogue. if they don't want to - or don't get it - for whatever reason, then the taxi industry will go the way of the sony walkman.

    serious money is needed to launch the "rope-a-dope legal strategy".

    VCs will have to report/justify/explain to the investors about the costly delays, injunctions, appeals, et al. that will rock their cage.

    meanwhile drivers DO GET YOUR OWN TNC & and get your own clients. at least, uber & et al will be short of drivers.


    carlos c.

  8. Intelligence and experience at work. Listen to Christiane Hayashi, deputy director of taxis at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

    1. Ms. Hayashi did a fantastic job she is really improving one of her best performances ever. CPUC person Marazia Afar seemed biased towards TNC's , also it seems TNC industry seemed to know one of it's speakers was on radio show, and had more workers from their industry call in. If cabbies new Chris was on we could have called in to express our point of view, Thank You for the link Saam, and Thank You Ms. Hayashi.

  9. Hi Saam.

    I agree that Ms. Hayashi was excellent and that the CPUC person Marazia Afar was definitely biased in favor of the TNC's, although she did agree that they are not ridesharing services. Ms. Afar is the one who cut Hayashi's brilliant speech short during the CPUC hearings on ridesharing.

    The interviewer also showed a bias by criticizing cab service but saying nothing negative about the TNC's. He also allowed Sunil Paul and Ms. Afar to make closing statements but did not give Ms. Hayashi the opportunity to do so – a cardinal sin in radio interviewing.

    Barry Korengold, myself and others were aware of the radio show and attempted to call in but we did so too late to get on the air. The TNC's are much more sophisticated than we are when it comes to marketing themselves and their people apparently called in before the show started. That's why you only heard them and not us.

    I'll know better next time.


  10. I have read the new cpuc ruling and I wonder if their decision is as good as the TNC's are making it out to be.

  11. Trying to understand the issue whats the difference between a Lyft car or Uber x car and limo? The only difference I can see is that the limo has TCP license and lyft and uber x doesn't. If that is the case then why a new designation as TNC(transportation network carrier).

  12. an interesting comment I took from below link about an Uber driver involved in accident on Divisadero street
    Uber suit

    This will not be a simple suit.

    Uber directs these drivers and advertises them as partners.

    Uber' s revenue split will also be called into question . Fee splitting is a IRS violation and the reason taxi cab operators stopped this in the 70 s . If you split fairs you are an employee.

    Uber will finally be deposed and the world will find out the reality of the uber model regarding self employed vs working with limo companies. I don't think this guy will be the exception. Uber will control this individual and provide his work, determine what he is paid and hire or fire him based on a subjective rating system .

    This will open a lot of doors for labor attorneys and potential class action suits for the 500 reported employees that were laid off.

    The Internet contract will also be on trial . Most attorneys I know do not believe it will hold up. Uber is a limo service that dispatches vehicles as a common carrier and should be held responsible as a transportation company. Owning the car has nothing to do with being a common carrier.

  13. I have read 17 pages of cpuc proposal so far and as a cab driver I am not scared yet, but it may be coming in the following pages. On another topic, maybe I am not looking good enough but I never to see Yellow Cab of San Francisco in the fight against the TNC , I see, the gentleman from De Soto and I see Luxor filings but never anything that registers to me as Yellow Cab. Does Yellow Cab not care about the situation or has some other plan?