Letter: San Diego’s Continuing Taxi Cab ScandalOctober 29, 2011 No Comments
Is it the same people who justify subsidizing pharmaceutical companies, international banks and oil refineries also support our taxi-medallion system? Talk about anti-business. How many other businesses in San Diego ponied up over one-hundred thousand for their business, while city code prevents competitors from entering their market?
I’m betting most every San Diego DUI driver would tell you they would’ve used a cab service more often had it not been so hard to find an open cab or, had it not been so expensive. Is there a link between this supply and demand imbalance to the enormous costs incurred by our city and communities for public-safety, medical, legal and property damage costs? Do we support a closed-market system knowing the financial and social consequences of critically injuring and killing people?
Each week, I regularly see at least a hundred Pacific Beach bar patrons waiting far too long to hail an available cab. I also see many cab drivers shop their fares, refusing short rides ostensibly so they can find higher-ticket fares. Many short-run partiers are doing the right thing tonight but, next weekend they may very well decide to drive to avoid the hassles.
in our current system, cab prices are out of whack with reality–and I’ll bet this is a contributing factor to our exorbitant DUI numbers. For instance, a ride to and from PB from downtown, any of the colleges or even to the mid-city area can be $25-30… each way. Isn’t it possible most 21-35 year olds balk at paying $50 when they look out to their car and equate that amount will a full tank of gas or, a half days work and decide to drive? Yes, it’s a bad choice but, a decision many make a few times a month.
Why do we continue subsidizing an archaic, antiquated and anti-market medallion system? Perhaps we can all write our Councilmembers and encourage them to review this system and encourage them to let free-market forces take shape. Couldn’t they design a fair cost-recovery fee system that would make this a zero-cost effort on the city’s part? If we could save potentially millions in costs to our communities and limit ruined or lost lives isn’t this worth the effort?Taxi Cabs