Cabbies decry proposal to boost daily fee — but not fares

Some cabdrivers are fuming over a proposal to enact a 20 percent increase on the charge they must pay to taxicab companies to drive a cab — while at the same time not raising the fares they are allowed to charge.

Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier has introduced legislation that would increase the gate fee cabdrivers pay The City’s three largest cab companies — Luxor Cab Co., Yellow Cab Cooperative and De Soto Cab Co. — to drive a cab for a 10-hour shift from $91.50 to $110, and allow for automatic inflation-indexed annual increases.

The proposal would decrease cabdrivers’ incomes by $5,000 a year, or by 12 percent, while increasing cab companies’ profits on the gate fees by as much as 293 percent, according to an economic impact report conducted by the Controller’s Office.

“This would be a brutal assault on cabdrivers,” said Mark Gruberg, executive board member of the United Taxicab Workers.

The economic impact report suggests that a 7 percent fare increase would mitigate the impact on drivers. Such a fare increase would cost cab riders a total of $19 million more a year, accordingto the report.

Supervisor Chris Daly said he would prefer to see “conformity” in how gate fees and fares are increased, adding that he would not support a gate-fee increase until there were health benefits for cabdrivers, which has been discussed for several years.

The legislation is expected to be discussed again by the committee next month.

jsabatini@examiner.com

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