More taxis could soon be coming to San Francisco streets.
On June 21, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which regulates cabs in The City, could approve a measure that would add as many as 125 new cabs for hire. A notice issued by the SFMTA has said that new permits, called taxi medallions, could be issued for full-time use, or for peak-time use — a strategy that would increase the number of cabs during busy times of the week. The medallions could also be issued solely for the use of electric vehicles.
Currently, there are about 1,500 medallion holders in San Francisco, and 7,000 registered drivers (a medallion holder can lease out his car to multiple drivers.) Adding 125 new cabs to the streets would increase the overall fleet by about 8 percent.
There is no guarantee that the SFMTA’s board will take action on the issue June 21, but under San Francisco’s transportation code, a notice must be sent out in advance about the possibility of adding more taxi medallions.
Hailing a cab in San Francisco can be notoriously difficult in certain areas and at certain times, but some drivers are opposed to plans to add extra taxis because the competition for customers is already very steep. A plan backed by the SFMTA that allows existing medallion owners to sell their permits for $250,000 apiece has drawn criticism from some drivers, who recently received long-requested increases to meter rates.