Taxi Now Cost More in the City

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    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.