Cab drivers in SF have not been having a good run lately. With frustrations over issues like a heavily opposed 5% fee on all credit card transactions leading them to plan a strike set for next Tuesday, one bright spot was an expected increase in cab fares, tentatively slated for August 1. But now that, too, is on hold, after the SFMTA finally noticed that they hadn’t taken all the proper steps to actually implement the new fares.
As the Ex reports, the CA Environmental Quality Act requires an environmental review process before rates can be raised.
The SFMTA board was expected to approve an increase of base fares by 40 cents, mileage rates by 50 cents, and waiting rates by 10 cents per minute next week, with a planned start date of August 1.
This week they apparently realized that an EIR was necessary before they could make this, the first fare increases in eight years.
Taxi operators are calling shenanigans on the whole thing, with Mark Gruberg, spokesman for the United Taxicab Workers, telling the Ex that “we don’t accept at face value the MTA’s excuse or explanation about the decision to stop the meter rate increases…we feel like they’ve never wanted to deal with it, and now they have an excuse to push it down the road.”
It’s unclear how long the environmental review process will take, but a MTA spokesperson says the transit agency “hopes to have the increases before the board by Aug. 2 at the latest.”