FULL COVERAGE: CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
According to the San Francisco Taxi Workers Alliance, as taxis continue to operate during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, the alliance is calling on the city to waive driver permit fees for the remainder of the fiscal year 2020, which ends in June, and extend the exemption for the next two years.
“With most of the city closed, very few people are moving. This is a devastating blow to drivers, most of whom are immigrants with little to turn to, ”SFTWA Board Secretary Evelyn Engel said in a statement.
"We recognize that many others are suffering in this crisis. But we believe that the city has a special obligation to its taxi drivers and its regulated taxi industry, because taxis play an important role in complying with San Francisco's traffic policies, in meeting its climate objectives, and, most of all, important, in the transportation supply. to the disabled community, "he said.
The SFTWA is also asking SFMTA to work with the San Francisco Federal Credit Union and other lenders to cancel medallion loan payments and stop medallion foreclosures. In 2010 and 2016, thousands of taxi drivers bought medallions for $ 250,000 at the city's request, only to see their incomes decrease as transportation service companies like Lyft and Uber flourished.
“Owner-drivers were already struggling to make their monthly medallion payments. We could see a tsunami of medallion foreclosures due to the coronavirus crisis, ”said Engel.
In response to SFTWA requests, the SFMTA said Thursday that it would suspend driver renewal fees for drivers for the duration of the shelter-in-place order. Although the order is expected to last until April 7, it is subject to change.
SFMTA added that it was investigating other measures to lessen the order's impacts on the taxi industry.