San Francisco Supervisors vote to hike
minimum taxi fare 25 cents
By Emmett Berg, Bay City News Service
October 17, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - San Francisco supervisors today
approved without comment a 25-cent hike on the minimum fare paid
by taxicab passengers, which becomes $3.10 on Nov. 1 if Mayor
Gavin Newsom signs off on the plan.
The increase, called a "fuel surcharge on the flag drop"
in documents, theoretically puts more cash into the pockets of
But a representative for United Taxicab Workers-San Francisco
said "25 cents does not amount to much" when members
"It's kind of a token gesture," said union spokesman
Mark Gruberg. "We weren't even asking for what they call
a fuel surcharge. If it really was a fuel surcharge, or a price
of living increase, it would have been much higher."
In a related issue, city officials since 1999 have capped how
much taxicab companies may charge drivers on a daily basis for
use of a cab, the amount known as the gate fee.
The cap came about after an outcry by drivers that cab companies
were unfairly hiking gate fees. Even after the cap became law,
some taxicab companies charged more than the limit, Gruberg alleged.
Today's action by supervisors rejected a gate fee increase proposed
by the city Taxi Commission. But even as it rejected the commission
proposal, the board established a higher allowable gate fee, $91.50,
than the amount the city attorney reported was actually the current
The resolution that passed 11-0 today also states that the board
would consider future gate fee hikes if drivers were offered a
formal proposal for healthcare coverage by April 1, 2007.
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