BenSeifu

Comments by BenSeifu

Ben Hueso's taxi cab conflict

Thank you Joe Deegan for highlighting a real problem in public safety in the taxicab industry. Taxi drivers are under extreme hardship and the public need to be outraged as to why their property is being bought and sold in the black market for as high as $160,000 without a single penny being benefited by the public. There is a big public misconception here: Taxicab permits are not private property. They are distributed as a privilege to use for public transportation. Just like any other permits they can be revoked, suspended and terminated. Why is MTS turning a blind eye to this problem? The fault lies with MTS for being irresponsible and corrupt. The public need to ask why the Taxi Administration Manager, John Scott recently "resigned" after over 20 years at the helm. If he resigned, why the need to escort him out of the building by security? Mayor Filner has decided to finally tackle this problem by terminating MTS's contract and bringing the taxi business back to the City's jurisdiction after 30 years. It was a decision that was applauded by all drivers. However, there are certain City Council members standing in the way due to permit holders influence and lobby. Mayor Filner wants to allocate $100,000 to hire a consultant to assess the industry to determine the best way forward. Taxi drivers want a free market system rather than the current closed permit market that has resulted in the monopolization of the industry and shortage of taxi. Taxi drivers are willing to raise the funds if necessary if the City Council refuses to release the funds because their livelihoods are at stake. But to do so means that taxi drivers will be in an even more duress to take care of their families due to high cost in lease rates and gas prices. Many people in the public have negative views of taxi drivers, but let me remind you that behind their negative traits stands a permit holder profiting from their hard work like modern day slavery. It's no exaggeration my friends. A perfect example, ask why drivers refuse to accept credit cards as payment? It's simple. The driver has to pay his permit holder up to 10 percent in interest for every transaction when the permit holder himself only pays 2 to 3 percent. Almost all permit holders accept only cash as form of payment for lease. (Why do you think that is?) A driver sometimes has to wait an entire month to cash in on his credit card transaction because that's how the permit holder wants it. Imagine if your boss was withholding a portion of your paycheck until the end of the month. Don't we all have bills? Where is the outrage? Where is justice? Do we not live in the land of the free? Do you think Ben Hueso had that in mind when he introduced this inappropriate and unjust legislation or was he thinking about his families interest? Disgraceful!
— May 17, 2013 9:48 a.m.