CALIFORNIAN CAB drivers, whose medallion badge values have plummeted, are set to receive a windfall payment after a vote by the Municipal Transportation Agency’s (MTA) board of directors in San Francisco.
The value of licence medallions, once worth $250,000, have fallen since the launch of Uber and Lyft and the city’s drivers will each receive a share of $4.7 million according to how long they have worked as a taxi driver.
San Francisco’s 5,190 cab drivers will receive one-time cash payments of $421 to $916, depending on their tenure behind the wheel. For two years, they’ll also have their registration fees, roughly $100 a year, paid.
Not all cabbies are happy with the plan however and see the payment as an admission that the San Francisco regulator is unable to fight the growth of e-hail companies.
Veteran taxi driver Mary McGuire said: “Paying out this cash seems to me like surrendering. What this tells me is that they don’t believe that another medallion is going to be sold, that the city’s cab industry is dead. This is a funeral.”