Incensed taxi drivers propose airport strike

By Elizabeth Creely : missionlocal – excerpt

According to Tariq Mehmood, a driver with National Cab Company, a taxi strike is planned for San Francisco International Airport on Feb. 1, one day after so-called “legacy” medallion holders will be barred from picking up fares there.

This comes after a Thursday action at City Hall, during which taxi drivers circled the block and marched to Mayor London Breed’s office in protest of a decision to prohibit drivers with medallions purchased prior to 1978 from working the airport…

Many carried placards calling for Ed Reiskin, director of transportation of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) to be fired.

At issue is the SFMTA’s decision to limit the number of taxis allowed at the airport, a tactic critics say is nothing more than an attempt by the agency to undermine a lawsuit brought against the city by the San Francisco Federal Credit Union last year… (more)



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 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.



San Francisco taxi dispatch services targeted for improvements

by : sfexaminer – excerpt

Cabs that fail to meet customer expectations are nothing new in San Francisco. Today, however, minimum requirements could be adopted to steer dispatch services toward higher standards.
There are two causes for The City’s taxi supply shortage, according to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s best-practices consultant, Hara Associates: the chronic undersupply of cabs and existing dispatch systems failing to respond to service requests outside the downtown area….
The transit agency board is considering the dispatch service proposal at a meeting today…  Best Practices of Taxi Regulation(more)

No mention here of the suggestion from the Planning Commissioners that the SFMTA install some taxi stands at the waterfront. We hear it is hard for cabs to cover some areas where bike interfere with taxi stands.

SFMTA Approves 200 More Taxi Permits To Combat Uber, Sidecar And Lyft – excerpt

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency board of directors on Tuesday approved temporary permits that will allow up to 200 more taxis to operate on the city’s streets.
The three-year permits will be leased directly to taxi companies, increasing the total number of cabs from the 1,535 that are currently authorized to operate full-time, according to SFMTA officials…
Agency officials said that adding more permitted taxis to the city’s streets will curb the use of unregulated cab services such as Uber, Sidecar and Lyft… (more)



The Phantom Cab Driver Phites Back

Taxi Advisory Councilor Dan Hinds, Taxi Services Investigator Mike Harris, Executive Secretary Mau Anu Flieder, TAC Chair Chris Sweis, Councilor John Lazar and Councilor Tim Lapp waiting to see if enough councilors would show up for a quorum. Only Councilor Carl Macmurdo made it before Sweis ended the meeting at 1:15 PM. Councilors Tone Lee and Athan Rebelos came as we were leaving. Eight Councilors are needed for a quorum.
Councilors Ruach Graffis, John Han, Tara Housman, Richard Hybels, David Khan, Barry Korengold and William Mounsey (half of the TAC’s 14 members) have resigned or are resigning over the SFMTA’s new Medallion Deform Plan…


In short, taxi companies and drivers are not happy with the SFMTA.