City Council to make taxi permit changes decision

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The fight over how to regulate taxi cabs in the City of San Diego returns to City Hall on Monday.

The City Council is expected to vote on a measure that would remove the limit on the number of taxi permits.

The issue illustrates two disparate views about fairness and competition. It’s a clash of voices and a clash of views.

On one side of the protest, the cab owners and operators who say they do not want the city to lift a cap on taxi permits.

On the opposing side of the protest, taxi drivers who have no permits, and are forced to lease their cars from permit holders at a cost of hundreds of dollars a week.

The 500 people who now own some of those coveted permits say the current system has a purpose.

They say it’s a hedge against putting too many cabs on the streets.

Just 993 medallions, over the years, has increased the value of permits. Many have been bought and traded in a sort of underground market.

Some drivers say they have paid more than $100,000 to obtain just one permit.

Drivers who want the cap to be lifted say the current system is corrupted. City permits are public property, they say, not meant to be traded like private equities.

Still, there is one thing everyone seems to acknowledge, taxis face intense competition from ride sharing services like UBER and Lyft.

Both sides will bring their arguments before City Council on Monday.

That is when the Council will make its final decision about lifting the cap.

Monday’s meeting has even been moved inside Golden Hall because of the huge turnout that is anticipated.

Categories: KUSI