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Sunday, March 24, 2013


San Francisco Taxi Drivers shafted at every turn - blatant discrimination - by the Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA) - just following the many shenanigans by MTA - makes you sick to the stomach.

At one point thirty years ago there were about 650 taxis in San Francisco that was when our legal population was about 750,000.
You called for a Taxi and it was there in less then 5 minutes - 10 minutes maximum. The service was good and I have many Taxi Drivers who were my personal - friends.

Now there are about 1600 taxis and our population is about 805,000 - with the day time population growing to a million. You all for a cab and you can wait for half an hour and sometimes on a Friday a hour. The system be it the dispatch, the strange APPS that have come on line - the limousines, the Town Cars, and a host of other mixes - have screwed the entire - system.

Thousands come to San Francisco to work and come 6 pm leave for the suburbs - when there are conventions and large gathering like the baseball and football games - the demand for taxis - is greater.

Some twenty years ago - you would NOT see the many buses that we have today that ply their trade and deprive taxis of customers -to go to the airport for example.

Then you have the black town cars and limousines illegally pick up customers at designated taxis stops.

In front of the hotels - and often times mocking the taxi drivers - challenging them - what can they do - about the illegal trade these limousines and Town Cars - ply.

The MTA is impotent - they talk a lot - have town hall meetings - but never, ever listen to the taxi drivers.

At the many MTA meetings held at City Hall in Room 400 - the Director of the MTA Ed Reiskin and the Chair of the MTA - allow venting; when they take public comment.

In the end the MTA decides as they please - as they have cheated the Taxi Drivers and deprived them of their Trust Funds. Making many promises in front of the Taxi Drivers - without blinking an eye - then behind the backs of the Taxi Drivers - cheating them like Ali Baba.

Dipping into the Taxi Drivers Trust Fund and stealing it in broad daylight. The MTA has no qualms of conscience and the time has come to impose the RICO ACT on the MTA.

We once had the Taxi Commission and most everything was fine.

Then came some idiots who decided to combine the Taxi Commission and bring it under the jurisdiction to the Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA) - with that the death knell was rung - and the rest is - history.

The taxi drives are not at their wits end - and many have died from the stress - other have lost their savings - and may have jeopardize their families - and this is plain - WRONG.

The present MTA is a Joke - and pathetic to say the least.

The MTA does not have the ability to discern - and only those can discern; who have the ability to think, adjudicate, set their priorities straight, listen to all parties concerned, learn about consensus building - all of which the MTA - lacks in large - manner.

The MTA cannot offer solutions - and less holistic solutions.

When there is money to be made; be it linked to the MUNI buses - which is our Public Transportation system - our taxis which the public use to meet their everyday needs - the MTA seeks to fill their own pockets and make up using the Taxi Drivers and their fees to pay for their misdeeds - elsewhere - more with the MUNI system that is in jeopardy.

The Seniors who look to the taxis and those which the ability to accommodate their wheel chairs, the blind who have special needs - and leading taxi companies - did their best - at one time -  but not any more.

The MTA constantly moves their target - and it is difficult to know what exactly they want to accomplish.

The MTA talks in circles, always makings shady, sordid deals - that are well know for.

The MTA have antiquated soft ware - much like their MUNI buses and their governing - mentality - and smacks of something from the Smithsonian.

One or two will offer suggestions - the rest like sheep - can be led over the precipice and into the cesspool of their own making - at the many MTA meetings.

Chair of the MTA - Chris Nolan must step up and fix the MUNI system - be it the cameras that are not working - the lack of safety and the increase of crime.

The pleas of the Taxi Drivers - to leave them alone and NOT monitor their every single action.

Some cab drivers act like the Mafia and in past years made deals with Mayor Willie L. Brown Jr. and Mayor Gavin Newsom. Now, those deals have come to haunt everyone.

The medallion situation was once created to be fair - a method to permit the taxi driver to retire - sell his medallion and have a nest for his or her retirement. No more.

Now, the MTA wants money in the thousands some $250,000 and one can get medallion - the system is flawed and in all the behind the scene deliberation - the Taxi Drivers - have NOT - been consulted.

The taxi drivers are used like a dirty rag and thrown into the waste paper basket. This nonsense must stop - now - promptly.

The latest fad having APPS is something that eventually will be implemented as more and more folks - have the use of smart phones and IPads.

Our City and County of San Francisco - is not looking to monitor the taxi system - and be fair - with accountability and transparency.

More having a practical and an UNIVERSAL model or two - that can satisfy - everyone driving a taxi.

This is where - nearer to San Francisco that the world knows the "Tech World Thrives" - but in San Francisco itself - we are years behind in the dark - because of the lack of sound - leadership.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA) is in the dark - abject darkness - and  the hard working taxi drivers - are shafted - for no reason and this is - WRONG.

It is time to change our ways and learn to first listen to the Taxi Drivers who are under the jurisdiction of the City and County of San Francisco - and the MTA. The MTA must change their ways - and the on going shenanigans cannot go on forever.

Now; if those in charge say that the Buses, the limousines, the Town Cars come under the State - let those vendors not ply on our roads and break laws - that are in place - and we in San Francisco are in the position to act and adjudicate.

Many of these drivers are pedophiles, others have felony crimes and are on parole - rapists, murderers,  anyone can drive - but for heaven's sake - we are taking big risk - with the criminal element - in the Town Cars, limousines, and Tourist buses - putting thousands at risk.

The MTA must stop spewing diatribe and get back to work - and implement policies that work.

Help San Franciscans, the drivers; mostly immigrants - who work hard and get nothing much. Everyone wants to squeeze the taxi drivers - dry.

Our Mayor is busy with other things - so may be after he reads this article - he can bring in the leaders of the Taxi Drivers and listen; to what they have to say.

I know Mayor Ed Lee will - if he has some compassion and as he says - he started as an advocate. Go Mayor Ed Lee!

Make good things happen and put a smiling face on our ambassadors the Taxi Drivers of this great and fair City - San Francisco. Aho.