taxi.jpgTaxi drivers shared grievances and improvement ideas with the San Francisco transit board at a meeting this afternoon in City Hall.

After a two-hour strike outside City Hall protesting implementation of electronic tracking systems in cabs and 5 percent credit card fees, taxi drivers filed into the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency board meeting.

Bill Mounsey, a Checker Cab driver who has been driving for 21 years, addressed Nathaniel Ford, SFMTA executive director, who announced his resignation last week.

“I’m glad he’s retiring,” Mounsey said. “There are more cab drivers here (protesting) than I’ve ever seen.”

Cab driver Murai told the board, “I don’t want advertising in my backseat,” in regard to the credit card terminals the MTA has implemented as a payment option. She also said she thinks the 5 percent transaction fee is unfair.

A driver asked the board when taxis would see fare increases approved in May, and Chairman Tom Nolan said there had been delays in implementation. He said the increases would be discussed at an August 2 board meeting.

Tariq Mehmood, who headed the taxi demonstration this afternoon through his group Cabbies Helping Cabbies, asked that Chris Hayashi, Deputy Director for Taxi Services, and Chief Financial Officer Sonali Bose resign from the SFMTA.

“Any people who support them should go with them,” he told the board.

Sasha Lekach, Bay City News

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  • Greg Dewar

    I’ve been to NYC twice in the last few years and I’ve used the back-seat terminals that are apparently Satan’s work. I talked to several cab drivers and they all said the same thing – they opposed them at first, but once they were installed, they all started getting tipped more. That’s because in NYC, the terminal gave out 3 options and most people picked the middle one – which was MORE than what people were tipping in the past. People on a work trip also liked them because it was easier to get reimbursed with a computer print out.

    AND in NYC, cabs are cheaper, they are easy to find, and the drivers themselves are generally really nice. Direct, but nice.

    Meanwhile in SF, you can’t get a cab to save your life in the Sunset, you can’t get to the westside late at night, and you have discrimination against the LGBTQ community.

    Hmm.

  • Greg Dewar

    I’ve been to NYC twice in the last few years and I’ve used the back-seat terminals that are apparently Satan’s work. I talked to several cab drivers and they all said the same thing – they opposed them at first, but once they were installed, they all started getting tipped more. That’s because in NYC, the terminal gave out 3 options and most people picked the middle one – which was MORE than what people were tipping in the past. People on a work trip also liked them because it was easier to get reimbursed with a computer print out.

    AND in NYC, cabs are cheaper, they are easy to find, and the drivers themselves are generally really nice. Direct, but nice.

    Meanwhile in SF, you can’t get a cab to save your life in the Sunset, you can’t get to the westside late at night, and you have discrimination against the LGBTQ community.

    Hmm.

  • kayayem

    The terminals seem like a good idea to me. A lot of times, when cab drivers find out I’m going to the Sunset they say they suddenly don’t take card anymore. They use lack of a credit card machine to get out of a lot of things.

  • kayayem

    The terminals seem like a good idea to me. A lot of times, when cab drivers find out I’m going to the Sunset they say they suddenly don’t take card anymore. They use lack of a credit card machine to get out of a lot of things.

  • Healy

    It’s unfortunate – but probably inevitable – that the biggest mouths always get the most coverage

    For instance, your reporter appeared to be taken in by Tariq Mehmood who may have the biggest mouth in the entire city. He has a following but does not speak for the majority of the drivers. Mehmood has deep, personal hatred for Deputy Director Chris Hayashi because she did play favorites and allow him to buy a cab when he was not qualified.

    Both Bill Mounsey and Murai (aside from what they were quoted as saying) also spoke in favor of Hayashi. They did so as a direct rebuttall to Mehmood’s semi-sane attacks on the best, most fair, most intelligent taxi director that the city has ever.

    Your reporter dropped the ball by not putting this into his coverage.

    If Tariq wants to get rid everybody who supports Hayashi, this would include almost every driver in the business who had the pleasure of working with her.

    Ed Healy

  • Healy

    It’s unfortunate – but probably inevitable – that the biggest mouths always get the most coverage

    For instance, your reporter appeared to be taken in by Tariq Mehmood who may have the biggest mouth in the entire city. He has a following but does not speak for the majority of the drivers. Mehmood has deep, personal hatred for Deputy Director Chris Hayashi because she did play favorites and allow him to buy a cab when he was not qualified.

    Both Bill Mounsey and Murai (aside from what they were quoted as saying) also spoke in favor of Hayashi. They did so as a direct rebuttall to Mehmood’s semi-sane attacks on the best, most fair, most intelligent taxi director that the city has ever.

    Your reporter dropped the ball by not putting this into his coverage.

    If Tariq wants to get rid everybody who supports Hayashi, this would include almost every driver in the business who had the pleasure of working with her.

    Ed Healy