Skip to comments.Boston Cabbies Blast Convention Voucher Plan (big RATS looking for a handout - possible strike)
Posted on 06/17/2004 6:54:24 PM PDT by Libloather
Cabbies Blast Convention Voucher Plan
1 hour, 56 minutes ago
Boston cab drivers spoke out Thursday about Mayor Tom Menino's plan to give $10 cab vouchers for each delegate that attends this summer's Democratic National Convention.
NewsCenter 5's Janet Wu reported that the drivers said that trips from Logan International Airport to hotels in the Back Bay cost a whole lot more, and they'd rather take the week off.
Drivers thought they were going to make a killing the last week in July -- or at least make up for the rest of the summer if it turns out to be a slow season.
"It seems like the whole city screwed up for a few days. What's the point of it?" one driver said.
Boston, as the host city, must provide transportation for all delegates from the airport. The cab industry wanted a piece of the action, but the latest offer of $10 isn't going over well.
"There will be empty cabs in the stands. There will be wildcat strikes," another driver said.
"Well, $10 has been the fee that's been discussed at this moment. But, what we would do is try to put three or four people in a taxi at the same time. The set fare would work at the downtown Boston hotels," MassPort spokeswoman Carol Brennan said.
"If there is a family of four, we are only charging them for two, so if we are going to downtown for $20 and you take $6 out for the tunnel and tolls, that leaves us with $14. That's not fair for us," another driver said.
He said that each trip, with traffic, would be a two-hour ordeal.
"If they want to go with $15, I would go for it. But $10 to wait and go in traffic for two hours, it is not fair," another driver said.
Many are threatening not to drive.
"I'm going to Las Vegas to make some money," another driver said.
Cab drivers know they have the city over a barrel because even if Boston decides to use shuttle buses and private contractors to move the delegates, there simply aren't enough to handle the load. Taxis corner the market.
"They are not bus drivers, they are cab drivers, but that doesn't really answer the question here. I think under the conditions where you have multiple people at the curb who need to get into our city quickly, we need to adapt to that," Boston Licensing Director Mark Cohen said.
Cohen said ongoing negotiations could resolve the dispute within a few days. But late Thursday, the DNC host committee said through a spokeswoman that the $10 amount is a preliminary figure and the committee is still exploring the most efficient way to get delegates to their hotels.
And this is called the RAT home field advantage?
Your average Rat is a cheapskate. Most give little to charity and are crappy tippers.
As a cabbie here in Northern Calif, I would spurn that offer, too... the mayor is nuts.
$20 would be a steal!
Wait a sec..Dems advocating VOUCHERS?
For those outside of Boston, the faire to take a taxi to or from the airport is normally $30-50 depending on how far out you are going exactly.
The Mayor is an idiot for even considering this.
Sheesh! I planned a convention in Boston 15 years ago and we were paying more than $10 for Logan to downtown back then...
Yeah, that struck me as funny too.
Know why the Dems chose Boston?
They all wanted to get scrod!
Isn't Logan on "T" Blue line?
The cost of a Cab license is about $130,000 from the holder, ten bucks ain't going to cut it. What is the daily rental for a licensed cab?
I've taken the "T" from Logan on the blue line, so I assume it still would be.
Boston's T does go to the airport (and it is good public transit otherwise). Having taken this particular trip a few times though it is a bit of a pain and very confusing as you need to catch a connecting bus. So Menino isn't going to send Dem big wigs that way.
You are absolutely right about taking the connecting bus being confusing, especially for Dem bigwigs. I had lived in Boston area for 9 yrs and can testify that those having problems with butterfly ballots would not make it - EVER!
I hear Ted Kennedy has a Parking space (one) that he rents for 2000 a month , maybe he can chip in on the fares.
I live in the Boston area and Tom Menino IS nuts!
No point bringing cars to a city that will be in major gridlock for a week.
It will be madness because the city just can't handle it,especially with I-93 closed for a good portion of the day.
Now, there's a Democrat for certain. Then again, we had Bill "So what if I drop a half-mill a night?" Bennett so maybe we shouldn't talk about gambling, a legendary tax on stupidity....
Criminal Number 18F
Good news at last for DNC
By Boston Herald editorial staff
Wednesday, June 23, 2004
See, there are happy endings, even where the upcoming Democratic National Convention is concerned.
First there was that love-in in Southie by the L Street Bathhouse with the head of the New York delegation, Herman ``Denny'' Farrell Jr. proclaiming the beachfront clambake site ``lovely.'' And as it turned out, in a delightfully unscripted moment, a number of those working out in the bathhouse weight room during Farrell's tour were black.
Sometimes ``history'' is just that, Farrell quickly learned. And perhaps he wasn't the only one. In this most tribal of cities, there's nothing like criticism from an outsider to make the locals appreciate how far we have come.
With that little tiff resolved, convention organizers next scored a sound compromise with the city's cab drivers over cut rate vouchers to be given to delegates. More often than not, convention organizers of both parties hired buses to transport delegates en masse to their often far-flung hotel rooms. Boston Mayor Tom Menino, attempting to secure a piece of the business for cab drivers, proposed the vouchers.
It took a lot of shouting across the conference table, but an agreement was finally reached, setting the voucher amount at $12 and allowing the cabbies to insist on a three-person minimum. Massport agreed to waive its usual $1.75 fee and allow cabs transporting delegates to bypass the taxi pool.
The system will allow drivers to collect a decent fare and a fair piece of business. It's amazing what can be accomplished when everyone agrees to come to the table and reason together.