I’ll tell you, the SFPD has other things to worry about on New Year’s Eves, so the illegal taxis have a field day.
And oh yes, a busted tail light, add that to the list of misdemeanors:
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This is just part of the SFPD detail what follows Mayor Ed Lee about when he ventures into the corrupt Twitterloin.
As seen on Market Street at Sixth Friday AM:
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Do I think the SFPD is far too obsequious when dealing with San Francisco Mayors?
Do I understand why the the World’s Highest Paid Cops are that way?
Can you spell obsequious without IOU?
No. Try it.
Am I happy that the current appointed Mayor (appointed by handsome man-child Gavin Newsom (IQ: 95), who, of course, got his start into politics by getting appointed by WIllie Brown) doesn’t have the SFPD drive a god damn SUV to Montana or someplace on the taxpayer’s dime?
Am I happy that the current Mayor doesn’t treat the SFPD VIP security detail as kind of a personal motor pool, like when Gavin Newsom would get picked up at SFO in the GM hybrid SUV shortly after other elements of the SFPD chauffeured the then “First Lady” (which really isn’t the right phrase since she wasn’t even married to the Mayor at the time – she was First Girlfriend, let’s say, you know, at the time) to and from, I’m srsly, Quince restaurant in the stretched Lincoln Town Car?
Am I surprised to see that corrupt Randy Shaw* of the corrupt Tenderloin Housing Clinic (it’s budgeted for 95 million taxpayer dollars or something? All that for a clinic? Srsly?) isn’t lining up to hail our Dear Leader / WalkSF / SFGov right here?
Yes, a little.
And, does it look like WalkSF has taken a page from the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition right down to the exact amount of an annual membership and the highly similar official “____ To Work Day?”
And will tiny WalkSF feel pressure to endorse Ed Lee for Mayor the same way the SFBC did?
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.
Uh, to make more money?
So that means you’ll need to pay double to avoid getting blackballed by SideCar’s drivers.
Of course, if a trained and licensed San Francisco taxi driver charges you double a during busy time, that’s a misdemeanor.
But if a SideCar driver jacks up rates on NYE, that’s called bidness.
Hey, Gentle Reader! Why not check in on SideCar’s “amazing year,” below? You’ll be able to see if any mention is made of CPUC case #PSG-3360, you know, that whole “cease and desist” thing.
If only this woman on Market had a SideCar sign instead of a TAXI sign:
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2012 has been an amazing year:
To ring in 2013, plenty of drivers in our community have told us that they plan to get behind the wheel on New Year’s Eve so that you can hit the town safely without having to worry about driving. <3 To thank them, we decided to do them a huge favor:
For New Year’s Eve only – and in The San Francisco Bay Area Only – from 5pm-5am, as a way of saying thanks to those driving on NYE, we are going to suggest double the community average donation for each ride within the app. This means that a ride with a typical community average of $10 will say $20 on Monday night.
Here’s why we’re doing this:
Of course, with SideCar what you donate is always up to you, and the community average is just there to help you decide. We just feel that on a night like New Year’s a little extra for drivers wouldn’t hurt. We hope you’ll feel the same way.”
This woman standing at a bus stop in the Financh on Market Street outbound had a few choices, I suppose.
She could have tried hailing an illegal Lyft or Side Car jitney taxi (called shiroi takushii* in Japan) but this was a busy, rainy night so that wouldn’t have worked.
And the illegal Town Car Limos, well, they would have quoted her $50 for a ten-minute ride.
And MUNI – come on MUNI would have worked, eventually, but it would have taken a long, long time.
And a bike, well that was how I did it, but, you know, it was raining ‘n stuff.
So, she she whipped out her home-made visual aid, the poor dear.
Hey lady, look! That taxi’s “TAXI” light is on!** That means that this cab is empty** so the driver will totally pick you up** for sure!
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Did that taxi stop for her?
No not all.
But, nevertheless, carrying around a sign like this seems like a good idea. It probably gives her an edge.
Thank you, drive through.
*”White taxi.” Believe it or not, most private vehicles in Japan have white paint (it’s like 50-something percent, or maybe that percentage is a bit lower these days but anyway), so if some unlicensed dude will drive you around in his car for money, then you call his car a white taxi. You know, as opposed to a yellow taxi*** what has permits and a color scheme and a flag drop and a meter and all the other stuff that Lyft and Side Car don’t have…
**That light is meaningless in the 415. Sorry. Yes, I know, I know, where you’re from, the light means that the driver is looking for fares but that system is not in effect here.
***Which, of course, need not be yellow IRL.
So let’s see here:
1. We regulate taxi rates so drivers won’t exploit tourists and other disadvantaged souls. (Oh, you’re a rich tourist and you’re lost and your flight leaves in an hour? $200 to SFO, take it or leave it – that kind of thing.)
2. But we limit the number of cabs on the streets to help out the drivers.
3. So much so, that buying a used Lincoln Town car and illegally picking people up off of the streets after quoting exorbitant rates is a good way to score some quick cash.
4. And, the SFPD has other fish to fry and the SFMTA isn’t really focused on this issue, so we’re back to square one, with unregulated “taxi” drivers exploiting tourists and other disadvantaged souls. Oh well.
As here. These bidnessmen were trying to flag down some Yellow Cabs, but those were all full, so next come the Black Town Cars. The first one quotes a price through the door, as seen here:
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No dice. (What did the illegal cabbie ask for – $50 to go to Union Square? Something like that.)
And then another one pulls up and then another one, which ends up picking up these dudes and whisking them away. All the while, the bidnessmen were trying to flag down a real taxi.
Here’s the aftermath, on Sacramento:
Note the City of Oakland taxi cruising up the street empty – that’s agin the rules too, as Oakland taxis aren’t allowed to pick up people in the 415.
Now you might not see this too much on a Tuesday night, but on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, it’s Katie Bar The Door out there.
This is the situation.
However, the single-party state of San Francisco is incapable of addressing this particular situation.
Just as politics is the reason why the feds are about to spend a billion dollars on the oh-my-God-wouldn’t-we-be-better-off-without-it Central Subway, politics is the reason why it’s hard to get a taxi cab in San Francisco.
I mean, what kind of world do you want to live in – one where we have a lower number of higher-paid drivers or a larger number lower-paid drivers? (That’s a political question, of course.)
For whatever reason, it’s relatively easy to catch a cab at certain times and relatively hard at others. That’s the system we’ve had, that’s what’s been chosen.
And that means it’s awfully tempting for illegal cab drivers to hit the streets during the busier times.
As here, at the foot of California Street, right near the foot of Market, right in the Financial District in front of the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero. See? A quick price quote/negotiation convo and then she hopped in:
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Do you think this woman would have preferred to take her taxi ride in a taxi? Probably as it would have been much cheaper, but she didn’t really have all that much of a choice.
Do you think the SFPD generally knows what’s going on here. Sure, but they don’t really want to deal with this sitch.
Now, how about making money instead of spending it this coming New Years Eve? Simply rent a car and then drive it around all night taking people where they want to go. You’ll see thousands of people waving their arms around all over the City, so you’ll have no problem finding customers. Be sure to quote an outrageous amount when they ask you, “How much?”
As long as you don’t get in an accident, and don’t get pulled over by the police, and don’t run into a few other hazards I can think of, you should be good to go. (But if the cops figure out what you’re doing and they’re motivated to throw the book at you for not having permits and stickers on the outside of your car and whole bunch of other stuff, then you’ll be in trouble with a capital “T.” That’s just one reason why I don’t recommend you to do anything like this.)
Such is the state of San Francisco taxi driving.
As it is, as it was, and as it shall ever be…
That’s why we have so many illegal Town Cars drivers plying the streets, you know, they’re filling the void.
As seen at 555 California, the Bank of America Building:
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Does any other city in America have a taxi situation like San Francisco’s?
No, not at all.
We need more.*
Adding 500 part time medallions would be a good start…
*Adding just 35 or 85 or whatever, that’s not going to cut it, pardner.
This aging, second-generation Lincoln Town Car, a pretty lengthy vehicle to begin with, has been stretched by about six or seven feet to become the longest car with handicapped plates in San Francisco.
Just think, with this rig you could take a dozen of your friends along wherever you go.
But, as the license plate holder notes, you might need to remind strangers, “PRIVATE VEHICLE, NOT FOR HIRE.”
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The Lower Market Christmas Snowflake Lights are officially on through January. Apparently, it was just practice when these lights were on for weeks last summer. As they looked last night, click to expand:
The holidays will be a good time for San Francisco’s illegal taxi trade. See this white Lincoln Town Car? The driver will take you back to your hotel for just $50. Of course a taxi would be cheaper, but where are you going to get a taxi on a Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday night in San Francisco? The City wants people to patiently wait their turns, but our rich tourists don’t like that arrangement. Oh well.
Here’s part of your Mid Market crackdown. The people in the Ford Crown Victoria being stopped by the SFPD are NOT cops. The two in the car were suspects for a brief time last night. Both of them are currently on probation, but that’s not a crime, right? They must not have done anything all that wrong ’cause they were released after a two- minute detention by the SFPD. Hurray!
And there are fewer cars on Market Street between Sixth and Fifth Streets, but more poo, apparently. Yes, that’s what you think it is, from yesterday, right on the traffic-free inbound slow lane of the “Champ Elysees of the Western Hemisphere.” Oh well.
This concludes Your Market Street Update.