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San Francisco Taxi Drivers Hold Brief, Vocal Strike

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Taxicabs wait for fares in front of the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Taxi drivers shared grievances and improvement ideas with the San Francisco transit board at a meeting Tuesday afternoon in City Hall.

After a two-hour strike outside City Hall protesting implementation of electronic tracking systems in cabs and 5 percent credit card fees, taxi drivers filed into the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency board meeting.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

Bill Mounsey, a Checker Cab driver who has been driving for 21 years, addressed Nathaniel Ford, SFMTA executive director, who announced his resignation last week.

“I’m glad he’s retiring,” Mounsey said. “There are more cab drivers here (protesting) than I’ve ever seen.”

Cab driver Murai told the board, “I don’t want advertising in my backseat,” in regard to the credit card terminals the MTA has implemented as a payment option. She also said she thinks the 5 percent transaction fee is unfair.

A driver asked the board when taxis would see fare increases approved in May, and Chairman Tom Nolan said there had been delays in implementation. He said the increases would be discussed at an August 2 board meeting.

Tariq Mehmood, who headed the taxi demonstration this afternoon through his group Cabbies Helping Cabbies, asked that Chris Hayashi, Deputy Director for Taxi Services, and Chief Financial Officer Sonali Bose resign from the SFMTA.

“Any people who support them should go with them,” he told the board.

(Copyright 2011 by CBSSan Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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