SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Taxi fares could soon be going up in San Francisco for the first time since 2003.
The proposal is on paper and the Municipal Transportation Agency’s (MTA) review process begins with Town Hall meetings next week.
Cab drivers historically have had mixed feelings about fare hikes since they want more money in their pockets, but they don’t want to drive away customers.
Driver Dean Clark complained about gasoline inflation and had other pressing concerns.
KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:
“We’re paying out of pocket for increased gas cost and have been. Once again we don’t have health care, we don’t have any retirement,” said Clark.
He went on to explain that he’s not crazy about the meter-rate increase because he wants to keep his services “affordable and accessible” and not to just be for wealthy people.
The debate is expected to continue over the next month as MTA looks at a proposal that would raise the fare for wait time and driving distance, while leaving the initial drop rate unchanged at $3.10. The proposal also calls for a new gasoline surcharge and fees for using the dispatch service.
MTA Commissioner Malcolm Heincke would be inclined to support some kind of fare increase under certain conditions.
“If we are going to enact a fare increase I think it has to also come with a corresponding increase in service,” said Heincke.
That would translate to more cabs on the streets so people can get a cab when they want one. The MTA will hold a formal commission meeting on taxi fare hikes on May 17th and will also hold six Town Hall meetings with the first two scheduled next Tuesday at 1 South Van Ness Avenue.
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