People planning to take taxis around San Francisco this Labor Day holiday weekend should carry a little extra money because cab fares are going up.
The flag drop rate, the amount charged the moment the meter starts, has been increased from $3.10 to $3.50, according to San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency spokesman Paul Rose.
While the increase took place officially on Thursday, different taxi companies will probably roll it out at different times over the next week, Rose said.Rates will also increase from 45 to 55 cents per fifth of a mile, and from 45 to 55 cents per minute of wait time. The SFMTA’s board of directors unanimously approved the fare increase on Aug. 2.
The board also voted 6-1 at the same meeting to increase the number of taxis authorized to drive in San Francisco, but that change will not take place for another two months.
Currently, there are around 1,500 authorized cabbies driving in the city, according to Rose. Paperwork will be complete for the issuance of 85 new taxi medallions 90 days from the board’s vote, he said.Fifty of the new medallions will be for part-time single operators, which limit holders to driving for no more than 60 hours per week.
Thirty-five of the new medallions will be issued for full-time taxicabs, and Rose said these enable holders to have drivers working up to two 10-hour shifts per day.Another two medallions will be issued specifically for ‘battery switch’ electric taxis which will also be able to drive full time, Rose said. However, the two electric cabs won’t be in service until 2012.
Sara Gaiser/Julia Bernstein, Bay City News