A Day Without Taxis: SF Cab Drivers Prepare to Strike

By Chris Roberts
|  Monday, Jul 11, 2011  |  Updated 2:55 PM PDT
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A Day Without Taxis: SF Cab Drivers Prepare to Strike

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San Francisco could soon be a city without cabs.

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Think it's impossible to hail a cab in San Francisco now? Imagine getting a taxi on Chestnut Street or a ride to the airport with no taxis on the road at all.

This "Cabmageddon" is what some San Francisco cab drivers are promising on Aug. 2, when "hundreds" of drivers will walk -- or drive -- off the job for a 24-hour period, the San Francisco Examiner reported.

The drivers are angry over several San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency policies: one where cab drivers are charged a five-percent surcharge or fee for accepting payment by credit card (a surcharge which they are not allowed to pass onto passengers) and the installation of cab-tracking devices, called electronic waybills, that would track the movement and location of all city taxis.

Calling the surcharge policy unfair taxation and the waybill system intrusive, a group of drivers headed by veteran driver Tariq Mehmood promises "hundreds" of cabs will be taken off the road on Aug. 2.

Officials at the SFMTA say that the surcharge could perhaps be dropped to three percent, and that instead of tracking individual drivers, the electronic waybill system could instead track traffic trends. But without promises, dust off that Muni pass and oil up the bike: prepare for the strike.
 

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