Mass transit only works in vertical high density areas with nearby jobs. It is not a solution for a tourist based economy. There are numerous studies of why mass transit doesn't work, not the least of which is because its unreliable, crowded, and inconvenient.
Bike taxis, without climate protection, shocks, or space, to a central car park? Please. Upscale people - tourists and suburban downtown visitors - won't buy in. And what about the impaired people who need a ride all the way home?
Banning taxis? We are the solution. A more realistic solution for Friday and Saturday nights on the Peninsula is to ban cars - from Calhoun to Spring on King Street, and from Queen to N. Market on East Bay. There are plenty of alternate car routes around these areas. Then patrons can either schedule a cab to pick them up in the car-free zones, or walk to taxi stands, say in the UHaul lot at Spring and across from the Francis Marion at Calhoun. Make the existing impromptu cab stand on N. Market a true cab stand, i.e. first in first out, as opposed to the parking jockeying going on now.
This solves the issue of taxis blocking traffic in these areas while they drop off and pick up. And potentially more importantly, protects the impaired pedestrian from wandering between parked cars into traffic, which happens all night long and has resulted in several injuries in the past few months. Since taxis will only be entering these areas with a scheduled pick up or drop off, this will also eliminate taxis trolling at 5 mph and contributing to the unsafeness of these high pedestrian areas.
Even the most inept smart phone user will know that a ride home is only a few blocks away if he or she can't call their favorite cab company for curbside pickup.
Under this scenario, the $5 (for the first passenger, $1 for ea. additional plus the current $1 fuel surcharge) flat rate ordinance becomes more than fair for what is essentially a hassle-free, traffic-free shuttle service between King and Market.
Finally, cut the definition of the Peninsula to include only the area below the Crosstown. A ride to Wagener Terrace or the Citadel campus should be more, based on the time it takes, not necessarily the mileage.
None of this will work however if the current, rampant practice of hotel properties limiting access of their guests to cabs that kick back money to the front of the house is permitted to continue. Bribing is illegal in America. The untold reason behind this threatened strike is that certain cabbies have arrangements with many hotel employees to kickback. With a $5 fare there's no money to bribe. The State law regrading taxis and limo services is that to receive fares for these services you must be a State and City licensed taxi or limo company. Sharing fares with hotel employees may be a long tradition, but it is illegal under many laws and needs to stop.
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