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.

3 Comments so far

  1. Jess H (unregistered) on November 1st, 2006 @ 4:45 pm

    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

    I totally agree. I had actually completely forgotten about the fare hike.

  2. S (unregistered) on November 4th, 2006 @ 9:18 am

    Yes! How many supes are reading This forum offers a lot of up-to-the-minute dialog on what people care about in our fair city, and sometimes even makes excellent policies suggestions like this one!

  3. S (unregistered) on November 4th, 2006 @ 10:05 am

    I wonder if medallion owners’ ROI for an electric fleet is even more powerful than for hybrids. Maintenance and parts expense for Veterans, Yellow, and DeSoto must be a major expense, most of which can be avoided with an electric fleet.

    Cab companies should take a look at the analysis done by WalMart that led them to commit to a 20% reduction in their CO2/GHG transportation fleet emissions within eight years. It’s hard ot imagine that the analysis wouldn’t lead them to make changes similar to what Nancy recommends.

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