This time the crankypants are concerned about limousines and towncars that illegally -- illegally? oh please -- pick up passengers at hotels, bars, clubs, or wherever to grab extra cash. Makes sense on the higher-end autos part. But as cabbies scrounge for customers -- or so we've often heard them complain -- they hate seeing other (and fancier) modes of transportation swipe passengers. According to Bay City News:
"Limo drivers have been stealing from us and gouging the public for years, but the problem has now reached epidemic proportions,'' Thomas George-Williams, chair of United Taxicab Workers, said in a prepared statement. "The city needs to get serious about enforcing the law because these thieves are costing taxi drivers and the public millions of dollars a year.''
Fine. But what with cab company blacklists, tempter tantrums over whispers of additional cars, lack of change for a $20 (that happens too many times for coincidence!), underwhelming availability of taxis at peak hours, and overwhelming fares, we would hate to see some inane punishment handed to limo/towncar drivers. (In fact, how would they enforce such a thing?) If SF had more taxis, and at a better price, United Taxicab Workers could start concerning themselves about the market that's just waiting out there for cabbies. They just need to take the time to build it.