SF Cabbies Get Competition, Raise Fares

I’ll go slow just in case anyone has problems following me on this story:

  1. San Francisco taxi cabs are already the most expensive per mile taxis in the country
  2. In 2002 they logged 1.2 million rides to SFO, in 2006 that number had dropped to 323,000 rides to the airport
  3. Cabbies blame BART’s extension to SFO and, somewhat illogically, an increase in the number of taxi permits issued, a whopping 50 additional cabs
  4. The Taxi Commission figures the best way to compensate taxi drivers is to increase the taxi rate, in essence impose a tax on taxi riders

Personally, I think it’s fairly implausible that 900,000 people a year are taking BART to the airport, if this were the case then BART wouldn’t be struggling to make the SFO/Milbrae extension work; it’s been plagued by low ridership since it opened. One thing I am seeing is that shuttles and hotel vans are taking up a lot of the riders that normally would have gone with taxis, not because it’s more convenient but because it’s cheaper.

SF taxis are very expensive, I took one from Market St. down 2nd St. maybe 10 blocks and it was $8. A ride to the airport is easily $25 and forget about it if you are going to the East Bay or down on the Peninsula, where a cab ride from the airport to my house is easily $50.

Having said all that, it’s fairly outrageous that taxi drivers are demanding a rate increase to compensate them, and not just to/from the airport but all over town. In essence the taxi drivers are demanding a tax be imposed on regular riders because they are no longer price competitive in one aspect of their business.

More Turtle Bay Follies

At first I thought this was a satire piece worth of publication in The Onion…

Imagine my lack of surprise when I saw that this is simply a case of business as usual at Turtle Bay, after all it’s hard to argue with Zimbabwe’s credentials for leading a UN panel on the environment and economic development… jewel of Africa that it is:

Zimbabwe’s economy is collapsing, with inflation of 2,200 per cent – the highest in the world. Households can expect just four hours of electricity a day. This has encouraged deforestation, with large areas being stripped of wood for light and heating.

Pity, I was thinking that Zimbabwe would be a frontrunner to lead the UN Human Rights Commission, along with Angola, Belarus, Egypt, Russia, Cuba, China, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia.

More on this topic (What's this?)
Inflation, Zimbabwe Style
Moral Equivalence? Dead Lion vs. Dead Humans vs. Dead World!
Read more on Investing in Zimbabwe, Inflation at Wikinvest