West Peak, Middle Peak, and the East Peak of Mount Tam in Marin County, all above a very good place to look for wind and fog and general cloudiness:
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Apparently, if you have your UberCab driver pahk the cah at Hahvahd Yahd, the tip you pay for that service doesn’t all go to the Uber taxi driver. Deets below.
Is that kind of a setup illegal? I don’t know but we’ll find out soon enough.
Oh Uber Taxi, will you ever win?
Now when Uber drivers aren’t Ubering, they’re illegally picking up people off the street like the drivers of all these vehicles were trying to do on Sacramento last year:
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It IS your fault
All the deets:
“High-tech car service Uber faces more accusations
Lawsuit alleges labor law violations
BOSTON, Feb. 7, 2013 – A class-action lawsuit filed in US District Court last week alleges car service Uber Technologies Inc. is violating state law prohibiting employers from keeping tips earned by employees.
The suit, filed by a driver for Uber, is another strike against the upstart high-tech car service that has prompted legal and regulatory crackdowns in other cities.
“Uber’s practice of keeping a large portion of the drivers’ tips is both deceptive to the customers, who expect that the drivers get to keep the gratuities that they have given them, and blatantly in violation of Massachusetts law,” said Hillary Schwab of Lichten & Liss-Riordan, P.C., one of the lawyers for the plaintiffs.
The suit comes on the heels of similar action taken by drivers in Chicago and regulations for smartphone applications in the car service industry recently proposed by the International Association of Transportation Regulators. Those proposals, released in November, would curtail the use of GPS devices as a substitute for a taxi meter, prohibit drivers without proper licensing from offering rides for pay, and bar car services from charging extra during hours of peak demand. IATR said its intention was to “bring rogue applications into compliance.” The proposals would have to be adopted by local state and city regulators. New York City, meanwhile, has drafted even more stringent regulations.
Boston fleet owners have said that if smart phone applications in the car service industry are to become standard there still must be uniform rules regarding their use.
In the most recent case, a driver for Uber, David Lavitman, of Milton, alleges Uber kept his tips. He said customers are regularly assessed a 20 percent gratuity but that the company retains as much as half that amount. Lavitman’s suit is seeking class action status and says more than 40 drivers in Massachusetts who served customers beginning Dec. 10, 2012 could join the class. Damages could exceed $5 million, according to statements by the company.
Uber is based in San Francisco.
SOURCE DBMediaStrategies Inc.
Web Site: http://www.dbmediastrategies.
Maybe 500 or so for starters.
That is all.
Oh, wait, they’re hiring so you can become a hack today. But, so is MUNI, generally, and that’s a much better gig, even if you’d generally rather work for yourself instead of The Man.
Remember how jarring this scene was, back in the day? Look, it’s the Taxi of Yesterday:
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Oh, wait, here’s the Minority Report, below, sort of. (Oh, and here’s another one, one about increasing the price of fares….)
Anyway, this is fresh from this morning. (500 more paratransit cabs? Sounds like a lot…)
“I wanted to alert you to a rather ominous development. At today’s meeting of the Paratransit Coordinating Council (which advises Muni and the city on the paratransit program), representatives from Yellow, Luxor and DeSoto proposed and got passed a recommendation for 500 more cabs, with the medallions going not to drivers, but to . . . guess who . ? . the very companies making the proposal! (And maybe a few others as well).
It’s not a typo: five hundred. And it’s not coming from some sector of the public that feels underserved. That might be understandable, even though the number is preposterously high, because the public doesn’t have a grasp on the economics of our job or the variety of factors that influence the level of service we provide. This is coming from our own industry, people who understand (though they obviously don’t give a shit) how hard drivers work, how little they make, and how devastating this would be to them. This is about the most callous, cynical, self-serving proposal I’ve seen in my 25-plus years in the industry.
We don’t know where, if anywhere, this idea will go from here. The MTA, which has decision-making power, is currently considering a modest proposal for a pilot program of perhaps 25 peak-time cabs. I believe peak-time medallions are a sensible alternative to full-time cabs, and I could support a limited experiment with the idea, provided the medallions go to drivers, not companies; that a thorough evaluation is made of their performance before any additional medallions are approved; and lastly — and most importantly — that the MTA commit to and fund a serious study of a centralized or integrated dispatch system. Such a system could provide substantial service improvements and put more money in drivers’ pockets by greatly increasing the efficiency of the existing fleet.
The city has always fallen back on more cabs as the glib and easy answer to service problems. The fact is that you can never put enough cabs on the street to address the complexities of the service equation. If that number were ever reached, the job of cab driving would simply not be worth having, not even to people starving for work. Greater efficiency is the solution. Systems like Cabulous and the proposed Open Taxi Access can go a long ways toward that goal, and so can an integrated dispatch system. We must insist that the city adopt these approaches before approving any significant increase in the number of cabs.
Lastly — need I say it? — in my mind, the principle that medallions must go to those who are out on the streets, putting in the long, grueling hours, serving the public, rather than to companies that have relegated themselves to the role of rental agencies, whose every interaction with their drivers, from the assignment of cabs and shifts, to the providing of dispatch, to the collection of gates, is performed with a corrupt hand reaching into the driver’s pocket; that principle is sacrosanct, and worth whatever fight it takes to keep it intact. I trust you agree.
United Taxicab Workers”
Oh, wait, 25 peak-time cabs? That doesn’t sound like much at all.
[UPDATE: And cabbies, you can just forget about your proposed strike right now, as nobody takes that seriously. What would your union-type slogan be, "Every Man For Himself?" I'm telling you, MUNI is constantly hiring bus drivers, so you all should switch rides and, you know, drive a bus. And then you could, with impugnity, call your passengers r-tards or whatever you want. Hurray!]
I’ll tell you, those poor melon farmers out there in the West Bay trying to scratch a living from the infertile sandy soils of the Outer Avenues, well, not only is their MUNI bus and streetcar service bad, taxi service is bad as well.
Now, your hack might not actually want to take you to 42nd and Ortega or whatever, but s/he is required by law to take you there because, technically, the Outer Sunset in within the limits of San Francisco County.* So maybe that’s OK, but what about the times when you want to get picked up at home and you live Way Out There? Well, there’s no onus on any particular driver to come and pick you up, so that’s part of the reason why you have to wait a long, long time sometimes.
Comes now the staffers of the SFMTA with a solution: A $5 “Peak-Time Radio Dispatch Fee,” but not just for Parksiders of the Great San Wastes and the like, it’s supposed to be for everybody calling for a cab. That means that you will owe the driver over $8 before you even get into the taxi. Hurray!
This super-genius idea came from a study from 2007 that concluded that San Francisco ought to:
“Implement a $5 dispatch surcharge during peak periods
Implement a $2 surcharge during non-peak periods.”
This will make the hacks happy as well the hack bureaucracy. It’s a win-win, baby!
But check it, the SFMTA is, once again, working on (or at least pretending to be working on) Peak-Time Permits, which would accomplish the goals that the SFMTA says it wants to accomplish.
Sometimes, when all the buses you see are going to the wrong way, a taxi’s the only way to get to your destination in time, right?
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All the deets of all the proposed new fees:
Radio dispatch fee: $2 flat fee during nonpeak hours; $5 flat fee during peak hours
Gas surcharge fee: $0.10 per one-fifth mile, $0.10 per minute of wait time
Wait time and mileage fare: From $0.45 per one-fifth mile ($2.25/mile) to $0.55 per one-fifth mile ($2.75/mile), and $0.45 per minute ($27/hour) to $0.55 per minute ($33/hour).
And look, the SFMTA is going to have Taxi Town Hall Meetings before the big meeting on May 17th:
“May 11, 2011, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Meter Increase, Credit Card Fees and Passenger Information Monitors, (PIMs)
May 16, 2011, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Electronic Waybills and Peak Time Permits
2nd Floor Atrium, One South Van Ness Avenue”
See you there!
*True dat. The crime is a misdemeanor called “Failure to Convey.”
As seen from Mount Tam.
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Why are all the buildings on that side of the Golden Gate and not this one?
Marin County is close, but oh so far away.
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This was the scene last night at the Atlantic Richfield on Fell and Divisadero last night. “No Gas.” Why’s that? Who knows. Maybe it’s a temporary shutdown at this particular station for an innocuous reason. Maybe.
These days, it’s not just Peak Oil or Peak Rice, it’s Peak Everything. Oh noes! Panic, panic panic!
Oh well. The upside to all this is that the Fell Street bike lane, formerly crowded with cars sitting in line for ARCO gas (check the photo from MapJack at “1160 Fell St, San Francisco, CA 94117“), is now free for bikes to use 24/7. So the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition can count another victory. Plus the owner of the Spirit station across the street must be happy.
The Ice Age is coming, the sun zooming in
Meltdown expected, the wheat is growing thin
Engines stop running, but I have no fear…