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Original post made
on Jun 24, 2009
Huh. Well that explains why I see so few cabs around town. I would be tempted to use Castro St restaurants much more if I could easily catch a cab. I hate to have to call for one.
The city needs to ask residents what they need - although I for one am not willing to sacrifice personal safety for the sake of free trade.
I like the idea of competition. My concern is safety. I would think twice, maybe three times, before getting in a cab if there were no background check on the driver.
As a cab passenger you put a lot of trust in the driver. You can only trust that the driver knows the way to your destination. You can only trust that the driver is skilled at avoiding traffic accidents. You can only trust that the driver will take you to your destination and not into some dark place for robbery or worse.
Mountain View should work with cities in the surrounding area to vet the cab drivers. That way the work and the cost of the work would be less expensive to each city that participates.
From a purely practical standpoint, what reliable method will be used to check the background of a recent immigrant from Pakistan?
Since San Jose charges an $8500 fee (!) to taxi companies, MV only charges $114, and at least one company has offered to pay $500, why not have the companies bear the expense for driver background checks?
I think it's a very bad idea to leave taxi cab customers' safety up to the market.
We absolutely need more competition of cabs. A ride from Castro to the edge of Palo Alto costs nearly $20. A complete rip off.
I'm sure most taxi drivers are perfectly safe people just trying to make a living. Promoting worry about taxi drivers, and suggesting that some safety check is going to be effective in protecting us from the trumped-up threat, is the perfect scare tactic for taxi companies trying to gain exclusive territorial rights to avoid competition.
Seriously, we Americans have got to stop being so easily scared.
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