SF taxi decline debunked by cab companies

sfexaminer – excerpt

In September, San Francisco’s new taxi head calculated that there had been a 65 percent decline in cab traffic based on ridership in March 2012 compared to July 2014, an alarmingly steep figure that drew skepticism from the industry.

Cab companies are admittedly suffering — owed in large part to app-based ride services like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar — but it turns out that staff at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency generated that figure using only a small sample of the statistics those companies are required to submit and also compared two very different data sets…

Management with The City’s largest taxi companies, Yellow Cab Cooperative and Luxor Cab, pointed out that the SFMTA report framing the highest and lowest trip numbers around different months — in this case, 1,424 in March 2012 and 504 in July — could be misleading because ridership changes from season to season…

Regardless of the numbers used, both the SFMTA and taxi companies realize there has been a ridership decline in the past couple years and they agree it’s due to the likes of Uber, Lyft and Sidecar — dubbed transportation network companies by the California Public Utilities Commission, the state regulator… (more)

SF cabdrivers vote to unionize as industry continues to take beating from ride services

By : sfexaminer – excerpt

San Francisco cabdrivers have decided that it’s time to form a union.

The local industry has been reeling for years as venture capital-backed ride services like Uber and Lyft have proliferated and taxi companies’ calls to The City to level the playing field have done little to help.

On Wednesday, cab drivers voted to initiate the San Francisco Taxi Workers Alliance, an affiliate of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) — marking the first time cabdrivers will be unionized in The City in more than four decades.

“If we don’t form a union, we’re toast,” said Beth Powder, 35, a union organizer and driver and dispatcher for DeSoto Cab Co.

Cabdrivers discussed unionizing for a couple of months, but in a “standing-room-only” meeting at the Verdi Club on Wednesday night, they voted unanimously to move forward with making it official, said Barry Korengold, president of the San Francisco Cab Drivers Association.

About 150 taxi drivers signed up for the union and pledged to bring more drivers with them, Powder said… (more)

SF taxi driver supply continues to decline as Muni plans another ad campaign

sfexaminer -excerpt

A year after The City started running “Know What You’re Getting Into” ads on Muni buses listing the advantages of riding traditional taxis over ride service upstarts, the cab industry continues to suffer the greatest shortage of drivers on the streets in at least a half-dozen years.

San Francisco’s taxi industry has lost “a tremendous amount” of business to transportation network companies — Uber, Lyft, Sidecar and similar mobile-app-based services — and the number of cabdrivers has continued to decline, according to Chris Hayashi, who said she has never seen the driver numbers so low in the six years she has managed taxis for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

The ad campaign contained the familiar “taxi” sign atop cabs and included a checklist of attributes that differentiate taxis from the newfangled ride services, such as drivers with extensive training, proper insurance and a formal dispute-resolution process… (more)

Why doesn’t the SFMTA just give the Taxi business back to the Taxi companies that ran it for decades with less problems than they have now? Clearly this is not a top priority item and the Taxis might figure it out on their own.

I tried to catch a cab on 2nd Street in front of the ballpark and could not figure out which ones were available. there is no system that I could see and I have no idea where the cab stands are. Neither do most of the tourists.