nicely understated Olympic ceremony
tap-dancing militant Islamic fundamentalists
Obamacare is a well run compassionate health care program
The Taxi News for Saturday August 30, 2014
study paints rosier picture of cabdriver wages
Chicago Sun-Times - (Chicago, Illinois)
Thu, 08/28/2014 - 11:19pm
The average Chicago cabdriver earns $12.14 an hour and
$33,857 a year after expenses, according to a city
consulting study that, an influential alderman said
Thursday, could set the stage for the city’s first fare
increase in nearly 10 years.
Chicago cabdrivers have produced a series of studies to
highlight their financial plight and build momentum for
their drive to unionize to bolster their clout.
One cabdriver study claimed Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s overhaul of
the taxicab industry has snatched $7,531 a year out of the
average cabdriver’s pocket, dropping annual income to
$20,234 or just $5.40 an hour.
Another claimed that half of Chicago cabdrivers are earning
less than the state’s $8.25-an-hour minimum wage — and more
than 10 percent are losing money — in a taxi industry that’s
generating $30 million in annual city revenue.
On Thursday, City Hall produced its own, more comprehensive
study of cabbie incomes, and it paints a somewhat rosier
picture — though the $12.14 average hourly pay figure is
lower than the $13-an-hour city minimum wage Emanuel
After surveying 414 drivers and analyzing eight months of
records for 10.6 million trips taken last year, before the
taxi industry felt the full brunt of ride-sharing, city
consultants concluded that:
◆ The average driver earns $21.79 an hour, or $60,767 a
year, before expenses — and $12.14 an hour, or $33,857 a
◆ Lease costs are by far the biggest expense for the 94
percent of cabbies who lease vehicles; the average
driver pays $24,000 in annual lease fees. That’s 39.2
percent of driver revenue.
◆ 40 percent of cabbies work 11 or more hours a day and earn
$12.50 an hour or $46,614 a year.
◆ 20 percent of drivers work seven hours or less a day and
earn $10.05 an hour or $15,374. Overall, 58 percent of all
cabbies earn more than $10 an hour. - more....
overhaul of taxi industry proposed
San Diego Union-Tribune - (San Diego, California)
Proposal would open door to more taxi owners
By Lori Weisberg7:02 a.m.Aug. 28, 2014
A proposal to overhaul San Diego’s taxi industry by removing
a decades-long cap on the number of permits that can be
issued will be unveiled Thursday morning by San Diego City
Councilwoman Marti Emerald and City Attorney Jan Goldsmith.
Motivated by what they say is the soaring “gray-market”
value of cab permits that have led to high operating costs
for taxi drivers, Emerald and Goldsmith acknowledge they’re
in for a pitched battle with the local cab industry.
Not only will the removal of a cap ease the financial burden
for drivers, they say, but it will also mean safer rides for
passengers because cars will be better maintained and
drivers won’t feel the need to work longer hours to make
Meanwhile, cab owners believe that any effort to lift the
cap could flood an already struggling local market with more
operators, diminishing the value of their investments. The
proposal also comes at a time when cab companies are facing
growing competition from ride-sharing services like Uber and
Lyft, which tend to undercut the rates of taxis.
“What I’ve witnessed is a disturbing dispute between permit
holders and lease drivers, and over the last several years
it’s become apparent that we really do need to make some
serious reforms because there’s a flourishing gray market in
taxi permits in the city of San Diego that have been bought
and sold, we’re told, for figures upwards of $100,000,”
Emerald said Wednesday in an interview with the U-T San
Diego editorial board. “And the cab owners who purchased
these say I’ve got to get my money back so they charge,
according to the drivers, outrageous lease prices for the
privilege of driving these cabs.”
She cited a 2013 study by San Diego State University and the
Center on Policy Initiatives, which found that 90 percent of
licensed taxi drivers rent their cars from individual or
business owners, with some lease rates averaging $400 a week
for 12 hours a day. Citywide, there are currently 993 taxi
permits. - more....
See also: San
Diego Councilwoman Proposing A Taxi Permit Free-For-All
Diego’s Taxi-Turned-Uber Drivers Get A New Lease On Life
KNPR-FM 88.9 - (Las Vegas, Nevada)
By Megan Burks
The city of San Diego will take up measures this fall aimed
at reforming the existing taxi industry. But cab companies
are urging them to turn their gaze toward mobile rideshare
companies. They insist they aren't losing customers to Uber.
But they are, in fact, losing money. Fronteras reporter
Megan Burks says the money is following cab drivers, who are
making the jump to Uber in droves.
Megan Burks: So we're standing here on Fairmount Avenue in
City Heights. Let's see if we can call up Uber. So you just
click 'Set up pick-up location' and it looks like there are
two really close to us, about seven minutes away. And
there's our driver right there. And he's actually texting me
The text was automated, as is just about everything with
Uber. The driver's photo pops up on your screen when he's on
his way. You key in your credit card information to pay.
There are no tips. Receipts are emailed. Leave a sweater
behind? Just text the driver.
The convenience is winning over tech-savvy millennials. And
it's also winning over taxi drivers. - more....
cabbies still waiting for $7 fares
CBC News - (Canada)
'It's not a lot, it's $1, but if we don't have that dollar,
we lose money every year,' cabbie says
CBC News Posted: Aug 29, 2014 6:16 AM CT
The drawn out debate over a taxi fare increase in Iqaluit is
leaving some frustrated.
Cab companies in Iqaluit are still pressing to move fares
from $6 to $7, but last night the city's taxi review board
tossed the matter back to city council.
“I feel like the ball's being thrown back and forward,” says
Michael Gilbert, co-owner of Caribou Cabs. “It's the third
time we come for this summer and... nothing moved so far.”
City councillor Noah Papatsie says citizens should get a say
on the issue.
Alan Weeks, a member of the taxi review board, says a public
consultation over a $1 fare increase would be too expensive.
He says a price increase is only fair.
“Gas has gone up considerably. Taxi drivers have
maintenance, they have rent to pay.” - more....
Lyft drivers cited in Omaha area; more tickets coming,
Omaha World-Herald - (Omaha, Nebraska)
Posted: Friday, August 29, 2014 9:10 am
By Barbara Soderlin / World-Herald staff writer
Lyft drivers in Nebraska can expect a state investigator to
come knocking on their doors after three Omaha-area drivers
were cited on suspicion of violating state law by driving
for the smartphone-based ride service.
The Nebraska Public Service Commission plans to issue
additional citations in the next several days, for a total
of between 15 and 20, with more possible in weeks to come,
as a result of a weeks-long sting operation, said Mark
Breiner, transportation director for the agency. Some of
those to be cited drive for Uber, a Lyft competitor. The
first three citations were issued in Sarpy County
“The law is on the books,” Breiner said Friday. “It’s our
obligation to enforce the statutes.”
He said he hopes the enforcement discourages other drivers
from working for Lyft until the service is operating
legally. That could happen if drivers apply for authority
through the commission, or if state law were changed to
allow services like Lyft and Uber.
The Legislature’s Transportation and Telecommunications
Committee will take testimony on the issue at a Sept. 11
hearing in Lincoln.
Breiner said the drivers are being cited for four
violations: charging a rate not approved by the commission,
operating without commission authority, operating without a
commission-registered license plate and operating without
having proof of insurance on file. - more....
lawmakers push PUC for ride sharing
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
August 29, 2014 12:00 AM
By Kate Giammarise / Post-Gazette Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG — Before a hearing of the Pennsylvania Public
Utility Commission’s full five-member board, several
Pittsburgh-area legislators testified Thursday to their
constituents’ desires for new ride-sharing services to
continue operations in Allegheny County.
Rep. Erin Molchany, D-Mount Washington, said this is “the
No. 1 topic of interest in my district” as measured by
recent constituent emails and other feedback.
Ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft have raised a host of
new issues for the PUC and for other regulatory agencies
wherever the companies have gone.
The companies match drivers in their own vehicles to
passengers via smartphone apps, and have been met with
staunch resistance from taxi companies in Pittsburgh and
Both companies have won short-term approval to operate in
Allegheny County, after first being ordered to cease and
desist operations in June. - more....
firms defend business while taxi company objects
Honolulu Star-Advertiser - (Honolulu, Hawaii)
By Dan Nakaso
POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Aug 29, 2014
Members of the City Council on Thursday continued to explore
Honolulu's nascent paid ride-sharing industry and openly
asked whether it should be up to the city or state to impose
regulations similar to the rules required of the city's
1,500 taxicab drivers.
The Council's Transportation Committee onThursday requested
the creation of a working group made up of police and taxi
representatives, among others, then heard from app-based
ride-sharing companies Lyft and Uber, who said they each
currently use "hundreds" of independent contractors to drive
passengers around Oahu after starting operations only this
summer. Login for
lawmakers shouldn’t regulate Uber to death
Illinois News Network - (Chicago, Illinois)
Scott Reeder | August
SPRINGFIELD – Awhile back I took a cab to Chicago’s Navy
Pier and attempted to pay for my ride with a credit card.
My effort was greeted with a torrent of obscenities..
The driver didn’t want to take my card despite a placard of
regulations in the cab that said he must do so.
When I pointed out the stack of credit card carbons on his
dashboard, he hollered even louder.
It seems some drivers want the taxicab business to be
In the last year, or so, an alternative to cabs came on the
scene. It’s called Uber.
Folks can use an app on their cellphone to get a ride. No
cash changes hands. It’s all done online.
The drivers for Uber and its competitor, Lyft, have been
screened by those companies and are driving their own cars.
The pair get high marks for customer service.
But the competition had the owners of some big-time Chicago
cab companies hopping mad.
The firms operate what economists call an oligopoly, that’s
when a handful of big businesses control the market.
In June, the median price for a Chicago taxi medallion was
$339,625. There aren’t too many cab drivers who can fork
over that kind of dough. So these big taxi outfits buy the
medallions and rent them out to drivers for a portion of the
The medallions are issued by Chicago City Hall.
So, the bureaucrats like it because it keeps money pouring
into city coffers. The cab companies like the system because
they can continue to control the market. And the politicians
like it because they get campaign contributions from the cab
That’s crony capitalism at its worst. - more....
is Uber so scared of a much smaller competitor?
Quartz - (Internet)
August 27, 2014
Uber, the online car service, is reportedly running a secret
operation to recruit drivers from competitor Lyft that
involves canceling thousands of ordered rides, and wasting
drivers’ time. While some are outraged at the dirty-tricks
aspect of the hiring campaign, there isn’t enough attention
to being paid to why Uber is going to such lengths to add
drivers to its network—and what it means for the company’s
After all, Uber has raised $1.5 billion dollars and operates
in 92 North American cities, not to mention its numerous
outposts around the world, while Lyft has raised $350
million and only works in 64 US cities. Uber is more well
known, and it seems miles ahead of Lyft, with its dreams of
expanding beyond car services into logistics and hopes of
replacing everything from car rental to car ownership.
The company’s cut-throat tactics indicate that if there is
an Achilles’ heel somewhere, it lies in the drivers the car
service platforms rely on to provide service. These
companies make noise about “ride sharing,” but it’s not the
heart of their business, as Uber’s stated goal of ending
private car ownership suggests. They require professional
drivers to meet the demand for car service at a reasonable
Drivers, however, don’t need Uber: - more....
adds UberXL ride-sharing service in Charlotte
taxi service gets rolling in South Bend
arrives in Fayetteville, legality unclear
|Europe, Africa, and the Middle
PROBLEMATIC TAXIS TO GET A FACELIFT
Daily Sabah - (Istanbul, Turkey)
Taxis in Istanbul, Turkey's most populated city, will see a
series of reforms with the implementation of a new system to
centralize their control in light of a string of complaints
over scams and reckless driving
Published : 29.08.2014 01:45:10
ISTANBUL — Taking a taxi in Istanbul is the easiest way to
get around and the most comfortable means of transportation,
as buses, minibuses, and trams are often packed during most
times of the day. However, taxis may sometimes prove
troubling particularly for foreigners or Turkish citizens
new to the city who often complain about drivers
overcharging. Reckless drivers endangering traffic, old cabs
and drivers refusing to give a ride to customers seeking a
short-distance also add to woes. A new system, whose tender
was concluded this week, will see a centralized system for
over 18,000 taxis, and may end the customers' futile
attempts to hail a vacant cab particularly during bad
First announced in 2012, the Taxi Management System is
expected to be fully implemented in two years. The taxis
will be controlled from one center instead of separate taxi
rinks scattered across the Asian and European sides of the
city. They will be equipped with GPS systems, and the
nearest taxi to a customer's location will be relayed after
customer calls a hotline to order one. The system will put
an end to the practice of taxi drivers recklessly racing
through the streets to find customers, and will lead to a
reduction in fuel consumption and heavy traffic. More
importantly, passengers will not have to wait for minutes to
hail a cab. Taxis will also be equipped with payment
terminals, enabling customers to pay by credit card instead
of cash. Currently, only 600 taxis in the city are equipped
with credit card payment terminals. - more....
Scared By False “Uber” Ban
valuewalk.com - (Internet)
by BrianAugust 29, 2014, 1:11 pm
The ever popular Uber ride share program and other similar
programs have been facing fierce resistance from established
taxi companies and unions. Simply put, these established
organizations don’t want Uber, Lyft, or anyone else
entrenching on their turf. And now the status of these ride
share programs in Malaysia is coming under question.
Malaysian Uber fans suffered quite the scare yesterday when
reports came out that the national government had banned the
ride sharing program. The government did in fact rule that
Uber’s current operations were illegal but it now appears to
be more of an issue of getting the correct permits.
Uber’s future in Malaysia, however, is now debatable. How
Uber will adapt to local regulations and whether it will be
able to obtain the necessary permits remains to be seen.
Outside of Malaysia, ride sharing programs are being
examined for their legality in the United States, Germany,
and elsewhere. - more....
Updated aug 29 @ 22:13 GMT
Taxi News Archive