Email Subject Line: I Support Lifting the Cap on Taxi Permits
Dear Councilmember [insert name]
I am a [resident or taxi driver] of San Diego who supports Councilwoman Emerald’s proposal to remove the cap on taxi permits coming to City Council vote on November 10, 2014.
There is no debate that currently, the taxi industry is in a state of disarray. By lifting the cap on taxi permits, we can erase a corrupt system where lease payments and permit transactions benefit permit holders instead of the citizens of San Diego. Many lease drivers are forced to drive unsafe, below-standard taxicabs and cannot report their negligent permit holders for fear of retaliation. There is no need for the city of San Diego to continue to facilitate an industry that is unresponsive to the demands of the consumer and exploitative to the drivers that compromise it, especially an industry the citizens entrust the city to administer and regulate for the public benefit.
It is time for the city to clean up the taxi industry by removing the underground market—the un-reported, and un-regulated buying and selling of city property that drives up lease prices and fare rates while driving down quality of service and worker protections to extract inflated profits. We need an industry where consumers are satisfied, workers are treated fairly and economic interests flow naturally based on consumer demand. Lifting the lease cap will allow drivers, 89% of whom do not have their own taxi permit and who are out there every day driving customers around, a real opportunity to control their fate, to compete fairly for business, and to not be locked into lease-driving servitude. Those who are most strongly against this measure to lift the cap are those already entrenched in the imbalanced and exploitative industry, who receive thousands of dollars on a weekly basis despite never driving a cab. Workers aren’t satisfied and consumers aren’t satisfied yet permit holders are more than happy to keep this industry stagnant and continually falling behind the evolving competition. Instead of allowing permit holders to profit off of the work of lease drivers, San Diego should create a system where these funds are used to benefit the San Diego public. The public owns these taxi permits and should benefit from them, not individual financial speculators. Lifting the cap creates an opportunity for current taxi drivers to serve the community, but now they have no access to that opportunity. We need to create a system where San Diego benefits instead of a select few.
Many studies exist out there that highlight the benefits of moving to an open market for taxi permits. Many studies exist highlighting the current failures of the San Diego taxi industry. San Diego should direct their energy to correcting the industry and opening up opportunity and innovation for all.
Thank you for your service to our city, and I urge you to support this measure to lift the cap that will undoubtedly benefit San Diego.