Taxi Drivers Still Fighting the Idea of Having to Accept Credit Cards

Categories: Road Rage

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Frankly, it's almost embarrassing. Miami is one of the few major cities in America where taxi drivers aren't required to take credit cards. Yet, as the Miami-Dade County Commission mulls over a proposal that would require some cabbies to install card readers, drivers are still resisting the change.

New Miami International Airport director Emilio González is the man pushing for the change. He says cab drivers are often the first people tourists deal with once they're out of the airport, and he's sick of hearing travelers complain about rude drivers and the inconvenience of having to pay cash. The rules change would mean any taxi that services the airport or the Port of Miami would have to install card readers and accept credit card payments.

Some drivers are pushing back against the proposal. From the Miami Herald:

Drivers worry that upkeep for the credit-card processing equipment would take a bite out of their wages. One possibility is for the county to require firms that sell the equipment to pay for installation and ongoing maintenance.

Another pocketbook concern for drivers: the delay in receiving payments from credit-card companies -- up to two business days, according to the proposal.

Drivers in almost every other major city are required to take credit cards and seem to get by. In the past two years, metro areas such as San Francisco, D.C., and Minneapolis have adopted such standards, and the impact seems to be minimal. In D.C., for example, the companies that manufacture the card readers pay for their instillation and upkeep and make their profit on transaction fees.

Of course, Minneapolis reported a problem that seems like it could very well happen in Miami:

Council Member Gary Schiff says he again has heard stories about people having trouble getting taxicab drivers to accept credit cards during the holidays.

Instead, drivers often would tell would-be riders that the machine was broken and offer to drive them to a cash machine with the meter running before driving them home.

And even if the ordinance passes, there's no requirement that drivers would have to accept cards for trips that aren't to the airport or the port.

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23 comments
sertnaccire1
sertnaccire1

Miami is a seasonal town the guys only do good four months out of the year and only on the weekends. These companies will get some airport runs and steal some VIP business from the local limo companies.

  It is very dangerous to drive a taxi in Miami dont kid yourself and think these guys are  not looking for the average joes business. The taxi meter is in the car for you and the drivers protection.

 Black cars in the other cities dont have cc machine and keep your credit card on file they charge double right off the bat and charge triple on holidays and bad weather. You think these guys will stay on road during slow season get on the internet and do some research before you attack taxi drivers some real good hardworking drivers are out there

jakealexandre
jakealexandre

UBER  will   greater  by  giving   some of the drivers a  relief .    Now the drivers  are having a break.One compagny  is having the drivers  paying 800 hundreds  dollars a week,the compagny onwed  the car and  the lease  is 500 and the car 300  dollars plus, it is a 4ever lease either  you take it or leave it  .I hope, the commisioners decided to help  them for once .Money and Power  is the greatest  for some but look down at  the drivers they are crying for help.

pod_nt
pod_nt topcommenter

It doesn't have to be a hideously expensive Verifone (the kind you see in New York) terminal in the cabs. I've traveled through every major city in the country on business, and in places where yes, taxis are required to accept credit cards, a lot of them either use a smartphone and a Square reader, or any number of alternatives. Most Miami taxi drivers have an Android handset or an iPhone, and last time I checked, Square and the like are pretty fast and loose on whomever they allow to have accounts with them. And even if the reader is "broken", you can do manual input. The app is free and it works on hardware that the cabbie already has. Hell, a lot of cabbies have iPads even. You have a supercomputer in your pocket but you can't take credit cards, hmm...

Actually, the real reason there is resistance is because it will turn a cash business into one that's easier to track and reconcile for tax purposes. So in a way, I can sympathize with that aspect. Let's call a spade a fucking shovel, this isn't about the difficulty of accepting cards (as I pointed out, anyone with a smartphone can do it these days...), it's the accounting and resultant tax burden that scares the taxi drivers. 

FYI, if you aren't pressed for time and live in the Downtown or Beach area, you can call Central Cab 305-532-5555 - all their taxis are equipped with card readers. 

I realize there's huge holes in my idea, but it's definitely a start. 

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

JUST ANOTHER example of the "b a n a n a  r e p u b l i c" that we really are down here

Sue Schwartzberg
Sue Schwartzberg

so true no wonder guests think we are a 3rd world country

rjflamingo
rjflamingo

I hate the taxis here. It's 97 billion degrees outside, the upholstery is black, and they won't turn on the freaking AC! Taking credit cards would be a boon to the passengers, but they'll fight that tooth and nail and start waving protest signs downtown before you know it. Next time I'm forced to take a cab, I'm going to insist they run the AC. If they don't, I'll go take an airport shuttle. :P  When are you going to get here, Uber?

chuckl
chuckl

Why is this a surprise to anyone?  Miami taxis are terrible.  These are the same people that fought against the original proposal for Metro-Rail to the airport using the logic that it would take business away.  Travelers with bags don't generally use public transportation, they take cabs.  People that work at the airport, Dade's largest employer, don't ride taxis to work.

Cities all over the industrialized world have cabs that accept credit cards...oh, wait, I forgot, this is Miami-Dade county, not connected to the industrialized world.

Alexis D. Guillen
Alexis D. Guillen

don't think the issue is the cc payment, it's the cabbies who sublet their cars out to other drivers & getting them paid.

AnnMarie Soto
AnnMarie Soto

Toronto does it, lemme tell you - so much more convenient

Andrew J. Herrero
Andrew J. Herrero

Dude, for the little that these cabs make, there is 0 incentive in accepting CC's especially when the cost of having a wireless CC terminal can be more then what any regular cab driver is willing to pay. Not to mention, these cabs are usually owned by the drivers, not the businesses, so it's not like they can just buy one of those machines and start using it, they have to have a legit business (meaning an FEI # associated with their cab they earn $ with) and even then, there is no promise that they would even be accepted by a bank to accept CC's. Not really the cab driver's fault as much as it is the business model that lets certain businesses accept CC transactions. You people need to learn to do better research before you go blabbing off like you all always do.

bn00
bn00

I've traveled the world and rate Miami Taxis the ABSOLUTE WORSE...Dirty cabs, unsafe, terrible drivers, no credit cards, old cabs. Not a good welcome to Miami.


Bob Newman
Bob Newman

It's all about money...More Credit Cards equals less cash....More Credit Cards equals more income reporting to IRS....Cash is King.... Drivers prefer Cash....and Owners prefer cash.....and politicians prefer cash...... I just want safe clean taxis instead of the 2003 Ford LTD's with bad shocks and no A/C

Mitt Romney's Fake Teeth
Mitt Romney's Fake Teeth

All part of what makes Miami a 3-world shit hole. Don't forget the Cubans who refuse to learn English.

Mark Casino-Brown
Mark Casino-Brown

Miami taxi drivers are the product of putrid slime congealing in a sewer over many years.

D.f. Basora
D.f. Basora

Due to health issues I'm unable to drive and I take taxis often. And I think it's absolutely moronic for them not to accept cards. Then the drivers bitch when, if I don't have enough $$ on me, that I ask to stop at an ATM. If they quit their shit and get w/the freaking program life would be easier for everyone

Luisy VWater
Luisy VWater

People stuck in the past, any excuse is better than accepting the change. Those drivers should think different

Alex Alvarez
Alex Alvarez

F@ck Miami taxi drivers they are pretty much a criminal element here in Miami. I know so many people who have been ripped off by them..

HarryTheHandyman
HarryTheHandyman topcommenter

Yet, don't you just love it when the government tries to get involved in everything?

HarryTheHandyman
HarryTheHandyman topcommenter

@Bob Newman And credit card companies get a cut of each transaction

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