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Council on taxis: Let the market decide

Original post made on Jun 17, 2009

As a money-saver, the Mountain View Police Department has recommended ceasing its checks on taxi cabs and drivers. In response, the City Council on Tuesday appeared supportive of using something else to ensure taxi service quality: the free market.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, June 17, 2009, 1:28 PM

Comments (23)

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Posted by J. L. S.
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 17, 2009 at 2:41 pm

Regulated or not, I will never use a Mountain View cab. I needed to be at the airport (SJC) at 6:00 a.m. and didn't want to inconvenience my friends so called Yellow Cab to pick me up at 5:30. They did not show up and did not answer their phone (supposedly 24 hour service!) I had to get my friend out of bed to rush me to San Jose so I would not miss my plane. I left a long message on their answering machine but did not ever get the courtesy of a call back. And I had called the day before to make sure I was in their system since I had booked the cab a week earlier. I was, of course, assured they would pick me up at 5:30! What a horrible experience that I am not about to ever repeat.

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Posted by M. Kane
a resident of Castro City
on Jun 17, 2009 at 4:24 pm

As a woman i hope that any cab driver would have a background check. I have on occasion used the cabs and feel reassured knowing the police did a background check on the drivers

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Posted by Jim
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jun 17, 2009 at 4:28 pm

Yellow cab Peninsula sucks, as the driver doesn't want to pick small fares, charge 15$ for 1 mile ride, the dispatchers are rude as they know there is no other yellow cab here, I made a complaint to owner alot of times but seems like he doesn't even care, I think the best solution is giving 5-10 permits every new cab company as there will be no redwood city situation like there is only one cab in the cab company but if they can't do this then I advise de-regulation as there will more taxi cabs and more choice for customers also and there will improvement in customer service also.
America is the place where every one has EQUAL rights.
To some extent I also advise that safety is important, they can create a list of requirements for each cab co, like they should get business license, drug test etc.

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Posted by Interesting
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jun 17, 2009 at 8:50 pm

Too bad the police department doesn't have the funds to regulate this. I would rather have a police officer conduct a vehicle inspection and check permits then just telling a cab driver to go to city hall and get a permit. You know that it wouldn't get done. Police won't enforce the "business permit" just like they don't cite those solictors that go door to door.

If there going to do this I hope that the city will make a taxi stand in the downtown district at night and at shoreline during concerts to prevent the cab fights. Have them line up just like at the airport or the hotels as Vegas. That is more professional then having them never ending circling the block and wasting gas. One fight between drivers most likely equals the same cost that the police would have to conduct several inspections instead of having to respond a bunch of officers to break it up.

Hey City are listening....franchise fee $500 equals money that you need...oh wait you're going to cut police services...nevermind...stupid.

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Posted by Mike Laursen
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 17, 2009 at 11:09 pm

Can the police really catch potential problem cab drivers with background checks? I think it may only be providing a false sense of security.

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Posted by Jim Doughty
a resident of another community
on Jun 17, 2009 at 11:35 pm

I wonder -- would a cabbie be ruled out for a simple arrest for battery without a conviction?? It looks high-handed to me to take harsh action against people who have not been proven to deserve it. I acknowledge that there is a need for security here; I want to see that it is being applied in a proper manner.

BTW -- I live on Ednamary Way -- not sure what neighborhood that is.

Jim Doughty

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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Jun 18, 2009 at 3:52 am

Police backgrounds checks are important, as a cabbie here in Napa we haVE them, but certain types of crimes that you commit they will not ACCEPT you.
Customer Service that is another matter

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Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jun 18, 2009 at 12:02 pm

Background checks on cab drivers? How are you going to check the background of some middle-aged guy from Pakistan? Background checks discriminate against native-born Americans. Drug tests? Are you going to equate a guy who smokes a joint at the end of his day (THC is stored in fat cells for up to 6 weeks) with a raving crackhead (cocaine is out of your system in 3 days)? Drug testing is a way of accusing someone of a crime without having to prove it, the tests are presumptive. Background checks are no help at all with recent immigrants.

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Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jun 18, 2009 at 11:17 pm

I've thought about it, and background checks on taxi drivers sound just fine to me, as long as you disqualify anyone whose background cannot be authenticated.

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Posted by Smart Growther
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 26, 2009 at 6:39 pm

The city council and staff are way out of their expertise in trying to set prices and restrict the number of taxis that want to serve customers in MV. If they think it OK to do this, why not regulate every business in MV. The Voice editorial raises the usual safety issues with regulated industries. What they fail to mention is that all safety regulations have a cost that makes providing the service more expensive. Not everyone wants to ride in a limo. Sometimes people just want a quick and simple ride. The safety argument just protects larger companies at the expense of smaller individual cabbies. It's no surprise the protected cab companies were calling for more expensive safety controls.

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Posted by Toni Arrelndro
a resident of another community
on Jun 28, 2009 at 10:46 pm

When I searched in Google and yahoo for taxis in Mountain View found over 200 Yellow cabs in Mountain View with different phone numbers. I myself end up calling some of those fake yellow cabs who list their number as yellow cab but I think there is only One Yellow cab in Mountain View and the other is Checker cab so when I ended up one time with this non licensed cab he treated me very bad over charged etc. After finding out it was not the legal Cab Company I got hold of Yellow Cab Peninsula's Phone number since then I am using them they are very Good on Time always. So City should take some action against illegal cab companies and generate revenue by regulating more on taxi cab companies and citing illegal cabs in Mountain View.

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Posted by Source
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 28, 2009 at 10:47 pm

The deregulation literature has almost completely ignored the impact of erstwhile illegals. The existence of black market cabs in most regulated markets meant that total trips by taxi were underestimated, and real average prices in the market overstated. Prior to deregulation, problems with illegal's, which, like any black market service, probably had given ample cause for complaint, and were not heard. With deregulation, large numbers of cabs suddenly enter the legitimate market, so we should expect the absolute number of complaints to increase. One would expect it to take some time for these taxis to bring themselves into compliance with safety and insurance codes.

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Posted by My View
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jun 28, 2009 at 10:49 pm

In some deregulated cities taxis still could not price the short haul specially, and continue to refuse such trips. And while the fixed costs of entering the taxi market are low, the variable costs of full-service, especially Computer rated dispatch, can limit that.

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Posted by Here is Some toughts
a resident of another community
on Jun 28, 2009 at 10:49 pm

Even researchers who are very sympathetic to taxi deregulation maintain that at the taxi fare deregulation might create severe problems. If the taxi establishes rates by distance, it must set its flag drop charge for the first 1/10 mile and additional travel per 1/10 mile. Imposing such units for rates would facilitate fare comparisons by consumers. Taxis could set their own flag drop charge high enough to make short trips worthwhile. Taxis ought to be permitted to utilize other rate structures—by zones, by journey duration, by time of day, etc.

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Posted by James
a resident of Whisman Station
on Jun 28, 2009 at 10:50 pm

Deregulation will result; there will not be any uncertain about the terms offered by any particular unregulated cab, and about alternative offers. With taxicabs in a queue at the Train station and the drivers instructing passengers to take the lead cab, there is no role for price or quality competition. Unrestricted fares in this case could mean severe price gouging and "rip-offs." When taxis are free to roam in City, and cabbies enter the Downtown to solicit passengers, the visitors get a general sense of chaos. Some will argue that on their way to this City from a regulated nearby town the price was much cheaper.

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Posted by well wisher to our future
a resident of another community
on Jun 28, 2009 at 10:54 pm

When Ireland decided to deregulate the Taxis between 2000 and 2008 the number of taxis in Dublin rose from 2,759 to 12,568 (an increase of 355%) while the number of taxi rides increased by just 82%. Just Think we are in recesion and any one who can not get an job anywhere will be driving a cab and with deregulation they may even find some bad way to make money. Oakland, East palo Alto back in old days............. Think what our council is doing.

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Posted by John Dillon
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jun 28, 2009 at 11:04 pm

I do not want to hear "we will allow more taxis in mountain view" If I understood right current two cab Companies can have 34 cabs at any time but they have alot more cabs registered and ready to go on road at any time in fact they are keeping our city from being crowded by Cabs all over the Down Town. We already have a parking problem and now deregulation. I think it will cost our police more when they are called up by down town resident or business owner every half hour. Redwood City is good example I go there all the time

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Posted by I was There
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 28, 2009 at 11:20 pm

I would like to mention these Two speakers Amar Bhatia and Money Singh who spoke in favor of deregulation are completely unacceptable because Amar Bhatia aka Joti Singh got arrested in DUI by Sunnyvale Police Department and guess what he was in Taxi Cab when he was arrested by the police and Money Singh got his permit revoked for ripping off a customer and these types of drivers are asking for deregulation you should know why. Just think if deregulation happened in Mountain our life is in this kind of a Cab Drivers hand Do we really want us to be driven by Amar Bhatia type of Driver. I don't think so!!!!!!!!!!!

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Posted by Carlson James
a resident of Castro City
on Jul 27, 2009 at 10:10 pm

I think it should not be open to any cab company cause we have more then enough cabs here.If the city did not inspect cabs then anyone would just get an old car and make it into a taxi. Redwood city is a good example they have old taxis there. Our taxis are safe and clean. To mention a few Amar bhatia aka Joti Singh or Money singh are people who use old cabs like 1995 models and operate in the city of redwood city.I would like to keep mountain view safe place.

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Posted by James
a resident of The Crossings
on Aug 11, 2009 at 6:57 pm

I have use Money Singh`s taxi cab company quite a few times, they dont have any car like 95 model, their cars very clean and good smelling, not stinking like the local cab companies down here,

The local cab companies dispatchers are so rude and the drivers don`t even come on time, that`s why i have been calling money singh`s taxi cab company.

Also i believe everybody has equal right to work,

they should give permits to all new companies along with some restrictions that`s much better than giving 97 permits to these two companies.

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Posted by Steve
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 11, 2009 at 7:07 pm

Money Singh`s permit was not revoked, it was a misunderstanding and the owner also insisted to the police to cancel his permit as he was scared that Money Singh would open his own cab company in his permitted city, and the owner wanted to make really hard for Money Singh to open his own taxi cab company. Money Singh is an young entrepreneur who has his own taxi cab company in Menlo Park, Redwood City, Stanford. His cab company was also awarded for best customer service of 2009 till now.

He just come to tell that he would be interested to get his own taxicab permit if they possible. Is it bad to be a businessman?

I think there should be no monoply here in USA,

Every one should be given equal right.

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Posted by Rey
a resident of Castro City
on Aug 24, 2009 at 12:02 am

[Portion removed for libelous comments.] His cabs are freaking in 90's. How can you rely on business owners like this?

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Posted by Rike
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Sep 5, 2009 at 6:17 pm

Does any one even know :

Bikram Singh the owner of Yellow Cab Peninsula had felony.

How about that?

who constantly checks the record of current business owners?

he even had DUI

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