“The idea of adding cabs to city streets has long been opposed by many taxi drivers, who say competition is already fierce enough for a job that has never offered a lucrative payday. Wiener said the hearings can address those concerns. He wants to convince drivers that more cabs will increase their earnings, since passengers will be more willing to call on taxis if they believe service is reliable.”
The idea that increasing the number of medallions would increase the earnings of existing drivers* is utterly laughable.
The lazy sit-around-all-day cabdrivers** of San Francisco:
Ergo, one is forced to assume that Supervisor Wiener isn’t talking to the drivers, oh no. He is actually addressing the people who would otherwise feel sorry for the drivers.
It’s unfathomable that he would actually believe what he’s talking about, so that means he’s lying. (It’d be like Hitler telling the Cossacks how great Operation Barbarossa is going to work out for them.)
*It’s not impossible to observe a network effect or something like that in some systems (like when a Starbucks moves in next door to your existing coffee shop, for example), but it _is_ impossible for an increase in medallions, by itself, to increase the earnings of existing San Francisco cabbies.
**The other place to look for lazy cabdrivers is at SFO – hundreds of them lazing about smoking cigarettes and playing card games and complaining about how little money they’re making.*** Most hacks in SF aren’t lazy like that. Most hacks drive around looking for fares and, for that reason, end up making more money.
***Back in the day, there was a hotel sitting on SFO property so driving there from Terminal 3 would take one minute literally. It was a three dollar fare. The airport would allow the returning driver to cut to the front of the line in this situation, but that generally would not make up for the loss of the driver waiting more than an hour for a one-minute ride. Faced with this situation, some of the drivers would pop the trunk, take out your bags and drive off in a huff. Truth.