Taxi cab permit changes

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The City Council's Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee will consider new rules for issuing taxi cab permits at its meeting Wednesday.

Declining demand for taxi services meant that San Diego had 250 more permits distributed than needed, according to a consultant's study. The average cab is idle for 72 percent of the time it is in service, according to the report.

Demand dropped from 1.09 trips per hour in 1999 to 0.74 trips per hour 10 years later, according to True North Consulting.

City transportation staff recommended that the committee approve a new formula that links the number of issued permits to the ability of a driver of a leased car to earn at least a minimum wage after he pays his leasing fee, fuel costs and other expenses.

The city currently has permits issued for 992 taxis. The new formula would result in an optimum total of 738.

Staff also recommended that future increases in the number of permits should be tied to heightened demand, and to calculate the new formula every three years.

Another recommendation was to require the owners of all new and transferred permits to have their cars meet energy efficiency and clean air standards, meet guidelines for serving the disabled, and be equipped with security devices, GPS, credit card readers and computer-aided dispatch systems.

Items approved by the committee will be forwarded to the full City Council for final consideration.

Categories: KUSI