Taxi drivers have a new ally in S.F. politics — or at least the ear of a Supervisor who's grown disenchanted with Uber's ideological line. "I have heard the word DISRUPT 5x today & met with Uber just so they couldn't say I'd left anything undone," Supervisor John Avalos groused on Twitter after a meeting with Uber reps on Thursday. Avalos describes the encounter as a battle of opposing worldviews. He'd invited two Uber drivers and the company's public policy director, Jordan Condo, into his office to discuss transit legislation. Avalos says that as soon as he brought up the specter of regulation, Condo recoiled. "This guy, who's making money off the drivers, said, 'When you use the word "fair," we think of protectionism,'" Avalos says. "And we believe in letting the market decide." They parted with the semantic arguments unresolved, so Avalos took the fight to social media. His followers voiced surprise that Uber agreed to meet in the first place — it seemed uncharacteristically fair.
Some people never learn. Once again, local freeloader Marilyn Jean Hartman was busted at SFO, in violation of a court order forcing her to stay away from the airport. Hartman began trying to get a free ride to Hawaii in February; one time, she was able to piggyback her way through security and onto a United Airlines plane. (It worked until another passenger told Hartman she was in their seat.) A second time, Hartman was caught at the security gate; and the third time, she was busted with a trashed boarding pass and arrested. After she pleaded no contest, a judge ordered Hartman to 18 months of probation along with a stay-away from SFO. But last week, the 62-year-old retired legal secretary was seen at the airport yet again, chowing down at the food court, KTVU reports. Although it appeared Hartman hadn't tried to sneak onto a plane, the publicity won her some support. Online donations are trickling in to buy this compulsive traveler her own ticket to the tropics. The goal on the Go Fund Me site is $2,500; as of Monday afternoon, six donors had contributed $540.