Two-bit rate hike (or, a 10 by ’10 rally call!)
I’d read about it, but it didn’t quite sink in until this morning, when the meter box raised it’s ugly rate increase. As of today, the city-wide taxi base rate jumped from $2.85 to $3.10. An 8.8% base rate increase (the $.45/fifth-mile driving rate has not changed).
Now, a 25 cent-per-ride increase isn’t a huge hike – and I wholeheartedly support a plan to offer health insurance to cabbies – but the defensive stance of needing to offset the raising costs of gas just rankles me. To me, this is just another demonstration of how the manipulated costs of that commodity are being passed on to the general populus, while those in control of the rates (oil companies and refineries) are recording record profits.
I want to see the Board of Supervisors initiate a move to change-out 10% of city cabs and livery vehicles to hybrid vehicles by 2010. We’ve seen the addition of the UK-style cabs, and the garish sight of the extended Hummer limo (I mean, seriously?!) so new vehicles are being put on the street quite regularly, and it’s high time we started seeing Prius’ and Accord & Camry Hybrid cabs on our city streets. With the amount of stop/starts and vehicle idling (all of which kicks in the cleaner, electric operation of the vehicles) of short-trip chauffeuring, hybrids will make a real difference in making our inner-city climate (as well as our global one!) more tolerable.
And that’s my 25 cents worth.
Edit: As an alternative to cab stable owners updating their vehicles to hybrids, those not achieving the 10% change-out (over the next 3 years) could be mandated to make 10% of their fleet CARBON NEUTRAL, via DriveNeutral, SF’s own grassroots, non-profit org making gains in educating and implementing efforts to counteract our carbon-spewing ways.