Tag Archives: taxi fares

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.


Wanna Go for a Ride?

Just released: Dispatches from Behind the Wheel: The Omnibus –
The Complete Zine Series about Driving for Hire in San Francisco

A Phony Lid paperback original. Includes all four issue of Behind the Wheel, revised and expanded with additional content. A Lyft Driver’s Log • Notes from an Uber/Lyft • From Uber/Lyft to Taxi • The Thin Checkered Line

Get all the details here.

 


 

 

San Francisco is no way to treat a human

lucky-13-parking-lot-murals-removal

“Sometimes I just want to scream, ‘Has everyone lost their goddamn minds?’”

Considering the windows or my taxi are rolled down, and we’re sitting at a red light on Market Street, I think to myself: You kind of did. But this is no time to split hairs. My fare is currently explaining the politics of flipism.

“That’s how shit gets done in San Francisco.” He clears his throat. “They use a Magic 8-Ball. ‘Should we anchor this high-rise condominium to the bedrock?’ Someone shakes the 8-Ball. ‘My sources say no.’ Then, the person in charge goes, ‘OK, fellas. You heard the Magic 8-Ball.’”

The guy has been shouting at the back of my head since I picked him up on a radio order. We began this journey from the Inner Richmond to AT&T on the agreed-upon circuitous route of California to Presidio to Bush to Octavia to Post to Hyde to Market (!) to Fourth and then, “Just drop me at the train station. I’ll walk the rest of the way so I can suck down a few cigarettes before the game.”

Read the rest of the column here.