500 signatures reached
To: Miami Dade County Commission
Medallions keep us from earning a decent living
This moment of upheaval in the for-hire transportation industry presents an opportunity to design a system that actually works for the public, drivers and the County alike. The medallion system that requires taxi drivers to pay the lion’s share of what they earn to a middleman keeps drivers from being able to earn a decent living and unnecessarily keeps prices high for taxi customers. Drivers should be able to lease a non-transferable permit directly from the County instead of having to continue to pay unreasonably high amounts simply for the right to drive and work in Miami-Dade. The County should set up a program to account for single medallion owner-drivers who may be heavily impacted by a change in policy.
Why is this important?
Taxi drivers have their income limited by the county’s decisions regarding meter charges and flat rates for trips. However, the taxi companies that charge drivers for leasing their medallions and/or vehicles are able to increase their prices without restriction. At the same time, customers are paying almost 3x what Uber or Lyft are charging, and yet taxi drivers are still barely able to take home money in their pockets after a full day’s work because they are saddled with a lease payment for the medallion. This is unfair.
County authorities should seriously consider our proposal since, if implemented, it would fundamentally benefit the people of Miami-Dade, and assure the highest-quality taxi service at the airport and on the streets. When taxi drivers are finally able to work in dignified conditions, free from the yoke of taxi companies, services and quality of transport are sure to markedly improve and be far more efficient. We believe there are many other benefits that will come from reforming the current system, some of which may not even be apparent at the moment.
Miami-Dade’s commissioners and the mayor have a crucial decision to make regarding our local taxi industry. This important decision will greatly affect the cities and county we call home and the ability of all us to build a truly cosmopolitan and inviting metropolitan area in which we can all live in peace and happiness.
We realize this could cause a disproportionate financial burden on those single medallion owner-drivers who might not be able to withstand this major change. This situation should be specially taken into consideration in the program the County ultimately designs to reform the taxi industry.