Industry report recommends minimum payment for credit cards in taxis

There should be a minimum payment for credit card transactions in San Francisco taxis, and drivers should be able to mute annoying backseat advertisements, according to a new independent analysis of the industry.

For the last year, cabbies have complained consistently about three major industry trends — that processing fees for credit cards are too high, new electronic bill tracking systems are intrusive, and backseat monitors blaring advertisements are grating.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation System, which regulates cabs in The City, commissioned an independent report to tackle those three subjects. At the agency’s board of directors meeting on Tuesday, that report, compiled by the Nelson Nygaard consulting firm, will be presented.

The study has nine major recommendations for the industry. One is to establish a credit card minimum, although no specific amount was mentioned. That could help reduce onerous fees paid by the drivers. The study also recommends the removal of audio announcements in the backseat, or at the very least, the ability for the drivers to mute any meddlesome jingles. Another recommendation is for the SFMTA to conduct before and after studies, to determine if backseat monitors and credit card technology affect how much cab patrons tip.

The full report can be found here.

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

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