An Argument for Meter and a Half

taximeter-yellow-taxi

Originally published in the S.F. Examiner
on August 22, 2019.

Among cab drivers, there are always rumors making the rounds in taxi yards, cabstands and holding lots across The City. They’re rarely good. By now, all but the truly delusional have come to expect any change to include a kick in the crotch.

The latest scuttlebutt is about the SFMTA eliminating meter and a half, the policy that allows drivers to charge an additional 50 percent of the metered rate on rides that go 15 miles beyond the county line.

It’s always uncomfortable explaining meter and a half to customers. Naturally, many balk at the prospect of paying more than the normal rate.

Even though I’m not a stickler for meter and a half, there are times when it’s necessary.

Like that ride from UCSF Parnassus to San Jose two weeks ago. During peak rush hour, it took over three hours to complete. Fortunately, the guy had a voucher and I didn’t have to explain meter and a half.

Then last Friday, I drove a woman from SFO to Santa Clara. At 4:20 p.m. Before taking off, I quoted her $150, the amount listed on the rate sheet. She agreed to the fare. Forty-five minutes later, when we pulled up to the McAfee building, I only charged her $120, since traffic wasn’t that horrible. But it still took me an hour to get back to The City. All told, including my original wait time, I spent almost four hours on the ride. So it’s not like I made out like a bandit.

Of course, meter and a half only exists if you bring it up.

Read the rest here.


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