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    Posted June 11, 2012 by
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    Silence from SFMTA when San Francisco Taxi Driver complains of Unsafe Taxis!

    Thanks for holding these meetings to improve the taxi service in the City and County of San Francisco. As you know I drove a taxi in the city for seven plus years part time and full time.

    In my opinion there is a need for more taxis on the street: (reasons)
    • I live in Hayes Valley and can not find a cab even during the week. Hayes valley is a central part of the city and there is no excuse.
    • Some taxi drivers have not been able to get shifts nor even drive a taxi because there are none available to drive.
    • Taxi driver’s income has increased enough to add additional cabs on the street.
    • In my opinion an additional 500 cabs would be appropriate.

    The problems with letting cab companies take the medallions to lease out:
    • SFMTA should require uninsured motorist coverage to the taxi companies to ensure safety and coverage in the event of an accident with an uninsured motorist. First mentioned in 2010.
    • Discrimination policy should be set by the SFMTA when they are creating the lease agreements to the drivers. Currently if a driver has an issue with a driver accused of discrimination the driver is told they can not do anything about it because they are only in charge of permits. First mentioned in 2010 to Scott Leon
    • Taxi safety – Air Bags and Seat Belts. The SFMTA should be taking it very serious when a driver complains to them about a safety issue with the cab. My understanding is that currently cabs are inspected once a year. The taxi I was driving when my accident occurred did not have deployment of air bags and the seat belt broke off my chest causing injury. I notified the SFMTA and OSHA about this issue after seeing other cabs that were involved in accidents at National Cab where air bags did not deploy. We are not talking about accidents where the car just nicked some other car but a serious fender bender where in some cases the cabs were totaled.

    Some ideas for SFMTA that were brought up in a meeting with Ed Reiskin and Chris Hyashi on April 24th. Which by the way have not heard back from either of the two since the meeting. After the meeting my concern was slid down the chain of command from Ed, to Chris, to Jarvis, to a investigator Eric Richoldt. When I met with Eric that same day, I was literally yelled at and was told I needed to provide maintenance records of the cab for him. Have not heard anything more about my safety concerns of seat belts or air bags. Not only is there horrific treatment by the taxi companies toward drivers but there is a concern that claims made by drivers to the SFMTA are ignored and not taken serious. The first report was in 2010 and it is now 2012. in Mark Gruberg’s Email Sunday “They also eliminated the driver's right to appeal A-card and medallion revocations and suspensions to the Board of Appeals, but said they might revisit this later”.
    Another idea that was brought up to Ed Reiskin and Chris Hyashi is a discrimination policy of some sort to curve the abuse and harassment at work because of a persons LGBT status and ethnicity which could be added to lease agreements or to ALL A – Card holders. My own complaint at the taxi company I worked for was never corrected and inflamed to the point of property damage, assaults on me, and harassment at work in my home life. Imagine if Taxi drivers are able to get away with this with people the work with then imagine how they are treating our valuable tourists!

    Dean Clark
    Phone 415-240-2433

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