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Close to 1,000 people applied for an A-card license to drive a taxi in San Francisco in the fiscal year ended 2015, more than any other year on record.

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For San Francisco taxis, Uber Technologies Inc. has been more of a speed bump than a dead-end street.

When Uber revved up in its home town of San Francisco three years ago, taxis hit the brakes. The number of people applying for taxi driver licenses (called A-cards) and buying taxi car permits (called medallions) declined significantly.

Yet in the past two years, both have bounced back, according to records from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which regulates the city’s cab industry. In 2013, medallion sales spiked. More people applied for A-cards in the fiscal year ended June 30 than in 2010, the year Uber launched in San Francisco.

Source: SFMTA and WSJ

Every driver must have an A-card license and every vehicle needs a medallion. But drivers for Uber and other on-demand ride apps like Lyft Inc. don’t need either. Uber owns no cars and employs no drivers.

The SFMTA is doing its part to fuel interest in becoming a cabbie. There used to be a $255 application fee for A-card permits, but the agency waived the fee in 2013. Medallions cost $250,000, and there are only about 2,000 available in San Francisco.

Full Article here

Government Fleet- Police Car
The City and County of San Francisco is considering increasing its use of telematics devices in its fleet as a way to improve management and safety of the nearly 8,000 vehicles and heavy equipment.Under the proposal, the city would expand telematics use to 3,108 vehicles from the current 2,332 in the near term. Expanding telematics to the remaining 4,733 vehicles and equipment assets would costs about $1.3 million in in one-time equipment costs and $1.8 million for annual service, training, and support costs.“Vehicle telematics has the potential to improve safety, reduce operating costs, reduce vehicle emissions, and identify potential fraud and waste,” according to a report by the Budget and Legislative Analyst’s Office. The Board of Supervisors Government Audit and Oversight Committee discussed the report on April 9.“One of the simplest benefits of vehicle telematics is that driver behavior can be improved by simply knowing the system is in place and that their vehicle use is being monitored, which can encourage more driver attention to safer and more efficient driving practices,” according to the report.

The report advocates installing telematics devices on police, fire, and other emergency management vehicles for the first time.

Adopting telematics could save the city a significant amount of money that’s now being paid in settlements and judgments as a result of claims and litigation relating to its vehicles. In the past five years, the city has paid $76.9 million to resolve these claims.

A fleet-wide telematics system would also improve vehicle efficiency by reducing idling time using driver scorecards and using wireless vehicle maintenance alerts to optimize utilization.

The city now maintains a contract with USA Fleet Solutions that includes roadside assistance such as 25 miles of towing, fuel delivery, tire changes, and lost or stolen vehicle recovery. Not all telematics vendors offer these services, according to the report.

Telematics systems are spread across 13 departments. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is the largest participating department with 930 vehicles of the 3,108.

Segments of the city’s fleet also use other fleet safety and location-based technology. The city’s buses use GPS and cellular radio signals to estimate arrival times, and the bus and trolley system use the DriveCam system that records video of fast acceleration or hard braking.

Read the full report here.

Article Source: Government Fleet Top News

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