In 2011, the City Council passed the Santa Monica Taxi Franchise law that at the time took almost 300 rouge taxis off of our streets with the intent of making the streets safe for pedestrians especially near busy venues like the Third Street Promenade.
You gave five companies the right to have 60 cars each and also made it “mandatory” for all drivers to have drug and alcohol tests and have their fingerprints taken by the SMPD.
In addition you required all taxis undergo “weekly” inspections and that video cameras be installed in every taxi to protect the public. In other words you seemed to give a dam about public transport at the time.
Well members of the City Council have you been out and about in downtown Santa Monica lately? There are “hundreds and hundreds” of non drug tested, non-background checked by the SMPD, non inspected cars driving around the streets running stop signs and red lights and calling themselves ride-sharing cars.
You can even watch them drive by as they’re texting and driving while they interact with their smart phones trying to pick up rides.
I know for a fact that many of these so called “ride-sharing drivers” would not be able to stand up to the rigorous testing and background checks taxi drivers have to go through in Santa Monica.
I’m hopeful that someone in City government will have the guts to say “no more” before someone is killed in a crosswalk by one of these non city approved cars.
City Council, you have a responsibility to each and every citizen of Santa Monica and to each and every guest of the city who is here on business or vacation with their families to make the streets as safe as possible. What are you waiting for another little child to be run down and killed like the six-year-old Korean child last year in San Francisco?
The California Public Utilities Commission should not have the right to say what is best for Santa Monica. Does Google and Goldman Sacks have their money in your pockets too City Council? I want it on the record that someone has challenged you to act before it’s too late and before some bad things happen.
Sandy Clair, Santa Monica