The Great San Francisco Taxi Cab Strike – Coming Soon to a Street Corner Near You
“Cabmageddon” is back – with San Francisco taxi drivers set strike on Tuesday, August 2.
With many drivers feeling their voices weren’t heard (they’re probably right) during a mid-day strike last month, San Francisco taxi cab drivers are preparing for a full 24-hour strike that could leave San Franciscans and tourists stranded, walking for blocks on end or hoping beyond hope the N Judah can arrive on time and not hit anything (moving or stationary) for at least a day.
The cab drivers are still upset – and as we’ve said before, rightfully so – about the fact that they have been hit with a 5% surcharge that they must pay every time a credit or debit card is used. Many are also incensed based about the electronic waybill system that the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency wants to put in cabs to better track them. Some drivers say it’s an invasion of privacy. Other cabbies have reservations about the system due to the fact that the IRS could better track fares, meaning paying higher taxes. The SFMTA says it is a simple, and common-place, practice to better deploy a limited number of taxies efficiently.
There are discussions being held by the Taxi Advisory Council that could reduce the 5% surcharge down to 3%. There are also discussions about modifying the electronic waybill system so that it doesn’t track individual drivers but “keep archives of broad travel trends,” according to the SF Examiner.
But these discussions probably won’t be enough to avoid the strike. While it’s not clear how many drivers may participate, several hundred joined in last months afternoon gridlock session. Tariq Mehmood – a cabbie leading the potential strike – expects at least the same amount if not more.
We’ll keep you posted on new developments, especially on decisions regarding the credit card surcharge and waybill system. But for the time being, get your walking shoes ready for August 2.