SF scales back airport taxi ban

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

The City is scaling back a plan to ban most types of cabs from San Francisco International Airport that was pitched in October as a way to help save the struggling taxi industry.

Under the first plan, only cabbies using the existing 560 taxi permits, or “medallions,” purchased through the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency for roughly $250,000, would be allowed to pick up passengers from SFO.

That would have left some 900 other drivers with medallions, some of whom obtained them in previous decades for free, barred from picking up passengers at SFO…

In the face of objections from taxi drivers, however, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is now pulling back that ban, just a bit.

The agency will allow an additional 570 medallion holders who obtained their permits after 1978 access to SFO, in what SFMTA called a “compromise” measure in an email to the taxi industry sent Thursday…(more)

SFMTA seems to feel they must make a point of disagreeing each time the public asks for something. “YES” is not in their vocabulary.

SF to ban most of taxi fleet from SFO to help struggling cabbies

by Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexminer – excerpt

The City walked back a controversial proposal to shrink the local taxi industry Tuesday night, but did approve restrictions on which taxis can pick up passengers at San Francisco International Airport.

The change was crafted with the intention of shuffling some taxi medallions back into San Francisco, instead of allowing large numbers to wait at SFO for one plum ride.
There are about 1,450 medallions in service today, according to the SFMTA, used across 4,800 active taxi drivers.

Among calls of “shame!” and “you should all go to hell!” as well as a stream of four-letter words, taxi drivers blasted the proposal for San Francisco to phase out about 260 decades-old taxi permits, called medallions, to help divert business to more struggling taxi drivers with more recent, more expensive medallions.

“They’ve killed the taxi industry,” said Yellow Cab driver Marcel Fonseca just after the vote. He wasn’t alone in his critique.

Five members of the Board of Supervisors also penned an eleventh-hour letter objecting to the reforms, arguing for a more incremental approach…

The San Francisco Federal Credit Union also opposed the taxi reforms. The credit union is suing the SFMTA to the tune of $28 million for allegedly allowing taxi medallions to become worthless, even as the credit union offered loans to taxi drivers. A letter in opposition to the reforms sent by Supervisors Aaron Peskin, Sandra Fewer, Rafael Mandelman, Norman Yee and Hillary Ronen called for the SFMTA to oppose limiting taxi pickups at SFO, and phasing out older taxi medallions.

“The City walked back a controversial proposal to shrink the local taxi industry Tuesday night, but did approve restrictions on which taxis can pick up passengers at San Francisco International Airport.”

I think you mean the SFMTA walked by a controversial proposal? They do not yet represent the city.


SFO taxi protest causes gridlock, headaches

By Kale Williams : sfgate – excerpt

A taxi driver protest against ride services such as Uber and Lyft caused gridlock and a lot of headaches at San Francisco International Airport on Monday night, officials said.

The cabbies wouldn’t pick up riders and were blocking lanes starting about 9 p.m., SFO duty manager John Gintry said, and travelers reported long backups coming into and going out of the airport.

Signs were posted on many of the taxis reading, “This vehicle has full-time insurance, ‘TNCs’ (transportation network companies) do not!”

Flyers were distributed among many of the cabbies by the San Francisco Taxi Workers Alliance with instructions for the protest, telling them to circle the terminals from about 9 to 11 p.m… (more)

Breaking News: SFO has a free cell phone parking lot

flysfo.com – excerpt

BREAKING NEWS: We are informed that SFO has a Free Cell Phone Parking Lot. Who knew? This information needs to be shared with more people. http://www.flysfo.com/to-from/parking/cell-phone-waiting-lot. (map)

Friends and family who are picking up arriving passengers can conveniently wait for them at SFO’s Cell Phone Waiting Lot. The lot is available at no charge and located adjacent to the long-term parking facility, just five minutes from the terminals. Please note the following:

  • Maximum wait is 60 minutes
  • Lot is closed from 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m.
  • Vehicles must be attended
  • Commercial vehicles are not permitted
  • Space is available on a first come, first serve basis
  • Soft drink and water vending machine is available
  • Flight arrival information kiosk is available

SFO’s cell phone waiting lot is located at:

806 South Airport Boulevard
San Francisco, CA  94128

Driving directions to cell phone waiting lot:

From 280  |   From the North (San Francisco)  |   From the South (San Jose)

Driving directions from cell phone waiting lot to the terminals

JFK Airport has Cellphone Parking Lot

 – excerpt

NEW YORK— Who knew?

John F. Kennedy Airport has a designated cellphone parking lot. It’s designed to keep motorists off the shoulders of airport roadways as they wait to pick up passengers.

The Wall Street Journal ( ) reports that the free cellphone lot has 375 spaces and is close to the terminals. But it is rarely full because it isn’t well advertised.

The lot was created in 2007 by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Police say they encourage drivers to use the lot whenever they find them illegally idling along the roadways where they wait for passengers to call and say they’re ready to be picked up.

LaGuardia and Newark Liberty airports are among a handful of airports around the country that don’t have cellphone lots… (more)

LaGuardia and Newark Liberty airports are among a handful of airports around the country that don’t have cellphone lots…  You can add San Francisco to that list. As much as we claim to be transit first and the most innovative  city, San Francisco is transit last. How did we get there? They spent billions of dollars on anti-car projects instead of repairing the Muni system. Cities need real innovation, not a virtual car war. No is our chance to turn it around. Support Restore Transportation Balance in SF:



BREAKING NEWS: SFO has a Free Cell Phone Parking Lot. Who knew? This information needs to be shared with more people. http://www.flysfo.com/to-from/parking/cell-phone-waiting-lot

SFO Celebrates First Legal Peer-To-Peer Car Sharing Service

by Chris Cooney : – excerpt

A San Francisco-based company has become the first ride-sharing business to begin operating legally at San Francisco International Airport, an airport spokesman said.
RelayRides, which allows Bay Area travelers to park for free at hotels near SFO while their cars are rented out to visitors during their trips, is the first peer-to-peer car sharing company to be granted permission to operate at the Bay Area’s busiest airport, SFO spokesman Doug Yakel said.
During negotiations with the airport, the company’s executives showed a “unique” willingness to comply with state and local rules governing airport ground transportation that Yakel said other ride-sharing companies—such as Lyft, UberX and FlightCar—have so far lacked.
“What really differentiates RelayRides from other transportation network companies is their willingness to work within the existing business structure at SFO,” Yakel said.
The company has also agreed to pay SFO 10 percent of the profits it earns from business generated at the airport, Yakel said… (more)

I wouldn’t call it a “car share” since the owners are renting their cars, but, there is a legal framework for anyone who wants to rent their car out instead of paying to park it.

RelayRides to Provide Peer-to-Peer Car Rentals at San Francisco Airport

By Yuliya Chernova : wsj.com – excerpt

Flyers who don’t want to pay $18 per day for long-term parking at the San Francisco International Airport will have an option, starting in August, to park their cars for free, courtesy of startup RelayRides Inc.
When the owners return, their gas tank will be full and the car will be washed. The catch? RelayRides will be able to rent out the car. For the renters, said Steve Webb, spokesman for RelayRides, the rental fees will be about 40% cheaper than standard… (more)

Flightcar: San Francisco sues unruly SFO car rental startup from Santa Clara

By Joshua Melvin : mercurynews.com – excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO –A Santa Clara car rental startup has provoked a legal dustup at San Francisco International Airport, making it the latest in a series of battles between rule testing tech entrepreneurs and officials.
San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera is accusing FlightCar, Inc. of dodging fees and undercutting its competition at the airport so the city wants the startup to give a cut of its profits to SFO and follow a few rules or shut down.
In a lawsuit filed Friday in San Francisco Superior Court, Herrera argues FlightCar — which allows travelers to rent out their cars instead of paying for airport parking — also has flouted car rental agency rules.
No legal action has been taken on the city’s request to force the company to shape up or close down. FlightCar’s response to the suit is due by July 1.
But it’s yet another battle between tech-based transportation startups and those who would police them… (more)

 Not that we would ever consider allowing strangers to drive our car while we are out of town, but, what happened here? This shared vehicles project is not sanctioned by San Francisco because they forgot to offer the city cut? FlightCar parks these cars off site at their own expense.

SFO Car Sharing Startup Sued Over Violating Airport Rules 
SF suing Startup over business at SFO