SF cabbies expected to strike, stop service for two hours

June 20, 2011 10:34:40 PM PDT
Taxi drivers are planning to strike Tuesday afternoon throughout San Francisco, a San Francisco cabbie said.

A coalition of taxi drivers, labor union members, public supporters and some San Francisco Municipal Railway drivers are expected to protest at City Hall between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m., cab driver Dean Clark said.

Clark expects 400 to 500 people to gather near City Hall with some cab drivers circling the block around City Hall or stopping service wherever they are working in San Francisco.

After attending a taxi coalition strike planning meeting Sunday night, Clark said 20 Muni operators have decided to join taxi drivers as they protest credit card fees, electronic tracking systems in cabs and other issues the transit workers have with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

The taxi group Cabbies Helping Cabbies plans to ask Chris Hayashi, SFMTA deputy director for taxi services, to resign, Clark said.

In preparation for Tuesday's strike, Clark said he distributed buttons and spoke with cabbies at San Francisco International Airport to make sure more drivers were informed about the afternoon demonstration.

SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose said he does not expect the protest to have a significant impact on customers, as the two-hour window is when taxi demand is at its lowest.

"We are working with the taxi cab industry so that the appropriate level of service is available for our customers," Rose said.

DeSoto Cab Company said in a statement that they do not anticipate the strike to disrupt operations during the two-hour demonstration.

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