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(Charleston Post and Courier)   Cab drivers threaten to stop picking up passengers if city continues to force them to charge a flat rate. In other words, business as usual   (postandcourier.com) divider line 32
    More: Interesting, Ford Crown Victoria, Lincoln Town Car, Holy City, Yellow Cab, flat fee, Dodge Grand Caravan, Pleasant Street, special committee  
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4554 clicks; posted to Main » on 08 Apr 2013 at 6:35 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-08 06:47:12 AM
i49.tinypic.com

If the ordinance is really that bad for you, then close up and find another line of work. Let the city deal with the people wondering why there aren't any taxis any more.

/Would have preferred another meme, but for the NSFW language
 
2013-04-08 06:51:10 AM
While I agree that taxis ought to be regulated in general, as per the base arguements presented in the article for said regulation, I do not see why it has to be a flat fee that low.

In short, the practice is okay, but the specifics might need tweaking. A lot. The Taxicab companies do have a point about them not being profitable. If the city wants to use them as a public transportation company, perhaps they should considering hiring the cabs themselves, and charging fees that keep the business break-even.

Allow cabs to set some rates themselves, but they have to be fixed once the cab starts. No gouging rich looking people (Nobody deserved to be gouged.). Perhaps a flat fee plus a distance and gas surcharge that covers a predetermined estimate (Generated weekly, or even monthly, to adjust for price fluxuations) of the cost of wear and tear and gas for said distance.

I dunno. *shrug*
 
2013-04-08 07:03:54 AM
There is already free bus service on the peninsula for the tourists that hits most of the touristy places.

What other private business has their rate set by the city?
 
2013-04-08 07:04:14 AM
I went to the city once when the cab drivers went on strike in the late 90's.  It was easily the nicest time I've ever had in the city.  It's amazing how much the atmosphere changes when you cut out that much noise and traffic.
 
2013-04-08 07:19:57 AM

Summercat: While I agree that taxis ought to be regulated in general, as per the base arguements presented in the article for said regulation, I do not see why it has to be a flat fee that low.

In short, the practice is okay, but the specifics might need tweaking. A lot. The Taxicab companies do have a point about them not being profitable. If the city wants to use them as a public transportation company, perhaps they should considering hiring the cabs themselves, and charging fees that keep the business break-even.

Allow cabs to set some rates themselves, but they have to be fixed once the cab starts. No gouging rich looking people (Nobody deserved to be gouged.). Perhaps a flat fee plus a distance and gas surcharge that covers a predetermined estimate (Generated weekly, or even monthly, to adjust for price fluxuations) of the cost of wear and tear and gas for said distance.

I dunno. *shrug*


The article doesn't mention that the cab business is typically very restricted.  Unlike most businesses you can't just submit a license and get started.  In NYC the Taxi and Limousine Commission jealousy guards their monopoly and fights hard whenever someone tries to get into the business, especially in the lucrative tourist areas.  In exchange for that protection the companies agree to be held to certain restrictions regarding pricing and service.
 
2013-04-08 07:32:26 AM

fozziewazzi: Summercat: While I agree that taxis ought to be regulated in general, as per the base arguements presented in the article for said regulation, I do not see why it has to be a flat fee that low.

In short, the practice is okay, but the specifics might need tweaking. A lot. The Taxicab companies do have a point about them not being profitable. If the city wants to use them as a public transportation company, perhaps they should considering hiring the cabs themselves, and charging fees that keep the business break-even.

Allow cabs to set some rates themselves, but they have to be fixed once the cab starts. No gouging rich looking people (Nobody deserved to be gouged.). Perhaps a flat fee plus a distance and gas surcharge that covers a predetermined estimate (Generated weekly, or even monthly, to adjust for price fluxuations) of the cost of wear and tear and gas for said distance.

I dunno. *shrug*

The article doesn't mention that the cab business is typically very restricted.  Unlike most businesses you can't just submit a license and get started.  In NYC the Taxi and Limousine Commission jealousy guards their monopoly and fights hard whenever someone tries to get into the business, especially in the lucrative tourist areas.  In exchange for that protection the companies agree to be held to certain restrictions regarding pricing and service.


Yup! There's that as well. I believe it's heavily restricted and regulated in all toursty areas, for the greater good of the community.
 
2013-04-08 07:42:58 AM
I can't wait for self driving cars to drive these guys out of business.
 
2013-04-08 08:05:04 AM

MindStalker: I can't wait for self driving cars to drive these guys out of business.


24.media.tumblr.com
 
2013-04-08 08:07:54 AM

Summercat: Yup! There's that as well. I believe it's heavily restricted and regulated in all toursty areas, for the greater good of the community.


24.media.tumblr.com

(sorry, I take every chance I get)
 
2013-04-08 08:43:11 AM
 
2013-04-08 09:04:03 AM
First you realize the rate is set for the entire peninsula   right? Those few blocks are not the entirety of it.

Do you know how math works? Let me give you a lesson

you start with $5, then your employer takes half leaving you with 2.50

Then you got gas, lets assume you go from the navel base to the gardens, well that is about 8 miles.. If it is congested we can take a gallon of gas, lets me cheap and say it is 3.30 a gallon we are now at a -$.80
Lets assume we only use half a gallon, it is not that far after all. That is still $1.65 which leaves us $.85

Then you got maintenance which is not calculable.

Then you get whats left over for your time.

Lets not even take into account issues where there are accidents so it could take forever to get to.

Stop being a cheapskate.


Of course it is great for the large companies that have their own paid for fleets, in house mechanics and stuff, they dont have to worry about much competition.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-04-08 09:08:42 AM
There was a brief taxi war in a Boston suburb recently. We're going to make sure every taxi has a million dollars of insurance and whatever the other towns are charging for licenses we'll double it and we're going to keep the business local by requiring every taxi business that picks up in town to have an office in town and... why aren't you picking up people in town any more? We need you. Come back.

Danvers needed taxis more than taxis needed Danvers. Taxis are operating under "temporary" permits until the town officially signs the surrender documents (amends the bylaw).
 
2013-04-08 10:08:12 AM

MindStalker: I can't wait for self driving cars to drive these guys out of business.


Why would it be any different?  The owner of the automated car service could program them to do all the same things the cabbies are doing now as far as changing rates once the ride has started, taking the scenic route, etc.  And the number of "medalions" would still be strictly limited.
 
2013-04-08 10:16:31 AM

thaylin: Then you got gas, lets assume you go from the navel base to the gardens, well that is about 8 miles.. If it is congested we can take a gallon of gas


Taxis really need to be hybrids; more than any other cars, they spend all of their time in stop-and-go-but-mostly-stop traffic.  For a hybrid, "idling" means sitting with the engine stopped.
 
2013-04-08 10:17:20 AM

pciszek: MindStalker: I can't wait for self driving cars to drive these guys out of business.

Why would it be any different?  The owner of the automated car service could program them to do all the same things the cabbies are doing now as far as changing rates once the ride has started, taking the scenic route, etc.  And the number of "medalions" would still be strictly limited.


In the short run maybe, but eventually the medalion thing will be broken. A few smaller cities will start out by allowing many of these and it will be demanded elsewhere eventually. Think zip-car except you don't have to walk to get the car, nor do you have to park it.
 
2013-04-08 10:22:50 AM
Want to be in the cab business? Play by the city's rules or give your medallion to someone who will. As for these "ride-sharing" services... let's just say that there's a reason why cities and states have regulated transportation services.
 
2013-04-08 10:25:16 AM

MindStalker: I can't wait for self driving cars to drive these guys out of business.


Self-driving taxis won't clean the puke out of passenger compartments.
 
2013-04-08 10:25:36 AM
The REAL problem behind cab rates/regulations is that the cities limit the number of licenses issued (good idea) but then do not also limit license-ownership to individual cab operators.  An individual who owns his own license and operates his own cab can do OK to pretty well on the current flat rates.  But what happens is that corporations come in and buy up the licenses then RENT them out to individual operators, which means they are only getting a fraction of the flat rate and basically are slaves of the license-holding corporation, resulting in a pretty terrible standard of living.

The fix isn't raising rates or de-regulating cab licensing.  The solution is having the city enforce 1-license:1-owner/operator limits.  That will likely mean they'll have to issue more licenses as they now won't be used 24/7.  Both of these are good things.
 
2013-04-08 10:33:39 AM
The government telling a business what it can charge and/or how to charge???  Yeah, already siding against the government.  Rates are posted on the cabs, not hidden somewhere out of sight to allow drivers to charge an arm or a leg for service.
 
2013-04-08 10:39:44 AM

pciszek: ny other cars, they spend all of their time in stop-and-go-but-mostly-stop traffic.  For a hybrid, "idling" means sitting with the engine stopped.


While I can agree, that is besides the point.. In addition hybrids are still more expensive so that extra cost would offset gas savings.
 
2013-04-08 10:42:59 AM
He said the ordinance arose partially to provide a reasonably priced, convenient way for residents without cars to get around. But the city, he said, also has a stake in regulating how its streets are used for such a "public conveyance."

In other words the city simply decided what the rate should be with no regard for costs.  The taxi drivers should quit accepting such fares.
 
2013-04-08 10:55:02 AM
When I lived and worked there a few years ago, Charleston was a place where you could absolutely count on different people (races, genders) being charged differently from the posted price on food, drink, cover charge, taxis and walk up carriage ride tickets.  Our employees always had to be diligent but polite, b/c your ass will get perma-banned or 'temporarily held' in a heartbeat by those smiling folks 'who just loooooove everybody'.  If one driver in the article wasn't afraid to share their name and the fact that they overcharge in violation of the ordinance, what makes you think it doesn't happen all the time?
 
2013-04-08 11:21:23 AM
call me kookie but perhaps those who make a living via taxi should have attended town meetings and let their opinions be voiced. these things are usually local newspaper fodder. one has to look out for their own interests in life.
 
2013-04-08 11:35:17 AM
My wife and I flew back in from our honeymoon several years ago. It was 1:00 in the morning, so after gathering our bags and flying for 12 hours, we were beat... Hailed a cab at the front door. He asked us where to and I said a hotel about 3 miles away where our car was parked. He then tried to get us to take the shuttle as it "would only be a few minutes to wait and it's free!"... NO thank you. I'm sure he was waiting on a 100 dollar fare, but that wasn't us.

When we arrived at the hotel, the meter read 11 dollars. I tried to give him 15, but he threw the 4 dollar tip back at me. Thought about reporting him to the airport manager but I was pretty sure that he'll be in a new line of business with that piss poor attitude.

/CSB off
 
2013-04-08 11:37:00 AM

Loren: He said the ordinance arose partially to provide a reasonably priced, convenient way for residents without cars to get around. But the city, he said, also has a stake in regulating how its streets are used for such a "public conveyance."

In other words the city simply decided what the rate should be with no regard for costs.  The taxi drivers should quit accepting such fares.


Very rarely are these called in fares, these are simply taxis being waved down, downtown. The taxis could stop driving around downtown looking for fares, but they are still doing so, indicating its still profitable for them.
 
2013-04-08 12:20:48 PM

thaylin: While I can agree, that is besides the point.. In addition hybrids are still more expensive so that extra cost would offset gas savings.


If a cap really is using a gallon to drive 8 miles, as the post I was responding to posited, then the hybrid would pay for itself pretty damn quick.  Especially at elevated inside-the-city gas prices.

Since the idea of driving a conventional, one-person automobile through most large cities is ludicrous anyway, they would do well to ban conventional autos from the city center anyway and allow only electric or hybrid vehicles for individual transport.  Buses, delivery trucks, and service vehicles would be exempt of course.
 
2013-04-08 12:31:35 PM

MindStalker: Loren: He said the ordinance arose partially to provide a reasonably priced, convenient way for residents without cars to get around. But the city, he said, also has a stake in regulating how its streets are used for such a "public conveyance."

In other words the city simply decided what the rate should be with no regard for costs.  The taxi drivers should quit accepting such fares.

Very rarely are these called in fares, these are simply taxis being waved down, downtown. The taxis could stop driving around downtown looking for fares, but they are still doing so, indicating its still profitable for them.


you make the assumption their employers do not require them to patrol there, or that other people from outside the area do not take the cab to the area and the cabbies are trying to find fairs back to their starting area.. In both cases your assumption is poor.
 
2013-04-08 12:32:59 PM

pciszek: thaylin: While I can agree, that is besides the point.. In addition hybrids are still more expensive so that extra cost would offset gas savings.

If a cap really is using a gallon to drive 8 miles, as the post I was responding to posited, then the hybrid would pay for itself pretty damn quick.  Especially at elevated inside-the-city gas prices.

Since the idea of driving a conventional, one-person automobile through most large cities is ludicrous anyway, they would do well to ban conventional autos from the city center anyway and allow only electric or hybrid vehicles for individual transport.  Buses, delivery trucks, and service vehicles would be exempt of course.


the 1 gallon of gas was clearly used as an example for stuff such as rush hour traffic...

Also why would they exempt all of the competition for the cabs?
 
2013-04-08 12:54:41 PM

thaylin: Since the idea of driving a conventional, one-person automobile through most large cities is ludicrous anyway, they would do well to ban conventional autos from the city center anyway and allow only electric or hybrid vehicles for individual transport.  Buses, delivery trucks, and service vehicles would be exempt of course.

the 1 gallon of gas was clearly used as an example for stuff such as rush hour traffic...

Also why would they exempt all of the competition for the cabs?


Cabs spend most if not all of their time in inner city traffic; that is why hybrids make more sense in that application than anywhere else.  Deliver trucks and service vehicles do not compete with cabs.  As for buses, some sort of affordable public transit is absolutely necessary in any large city:  If each person took a separate vehicle (whether driving themselves or taking a cab) movement through the city would become impossible.  New Yorkers and Bostonians already understand this.
 
2013-04-08 03:27:44 PM

KrispyKritter: call me kookie but perhaps those who make a living via taxi should have attended town meetings and let their opinions be voiced. these things are usually local newspaper fodder. one has to look out for their own interests in life.


Because citizens who attend such hearings get to vote on regulations?

Restaurant owners may make substantial campaign contributions.  Taxi drivers can't afford to.
 
2013-04-08 03:31:04 PM
I've never ridden with a cabbie who wasn't an efficient driver, a font of useful information, and a ray of sunshine.  Probably because I only took cabs between strip clubs.
 
2013-04-11 12:03:13 PM

thaylin: pciszek: ny other cars, they spend all of their time in stop-and-go-but-mostly-stop traffic.  For a hybrid, "idling" means sitting with the engine stopped.

While I can agree, that is besides the point.. In addition hybrids are still more expensive so that extra cost would offset gas savings.


Hybrids are not ready for prime time.
Heavy, continuous usage is still a while away, if ever.

But, enjoy your toys for now.
 
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