The San Diego City Council’s Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee unanimously signed off Wednesday on proposed new rules for issuing taxi cab permits.
Declining demand for taxi services meant that San Diego had 250 more permits distributed than needed, according to a consultant’s study.
The average cab is idle for 72 percent of the time it is in service, according to the report.
Demand dropped from 1.09 trips per hour in 1999 to 0.74 trips per hour 10 years later, according to True North Consulting.
The proposed rules include a new formula that links the number of issued permits to the ability of a driver of a leased car to earn at least a minimum wage after paying a leasing fee, fuel costs and other expenses.
The city currently has permits issued for 992 taxis. The new formula would result in an optimum total of 738.
If given final approval by the full City Council, future increases in the number of permits would be tied to heightened demand, and the new formula recalculated every three years.