"They're totally unfair competition," said cab driver Jonathan Khin, a 20-year cabbie who came to San Francisco decades ago from Burma. "They don't have to pay regulations and fees that we do."
The drivers complaints over the rideshares, known legally as Transportation Network Companies, were many: the TNCs don't provide adequate insurance for drivers, don't have the number of cars regulated (like cabs are), and don't have to pay regulatory fees that cabs currently pay. This all leads to an uneven playing field, and the taxi cab industry is getting creamed.
Collaborative consumption, aka the shareable economy – the labels given to a new generation of Internet-based companies that facilitate peer-to-peer exchanges of goods and services – certainly has some positive attributes. But does it really live up to the overhyped claims of its biggest boosters, who evangelize it as a “revolution” that forever alters the economy in only positive ways? Read more »
I got a fascinating letter from a person who's worked in the tourism business in San Francisco for many years, and he's very worried about the impact of the faux cabs on the city's biggest industry. Here's his note:Read more »
Lots of comments on my article outlining the problems with the fake cabs that are riding around town without medallions or proper screening. The main complaint the trolls have appears to be their dislike of cab drivers and the difficulty of getting a cab in some places and at certain times. I've never had a bad experience with an SF cab driver in 30 years of living here and taking cabs, but I'm sure there are others who have; no industry is perfect.Read more »
In an announcement that could transform transportation policy in San Francisco, the startup company Lyft is prepared to take over some of the most crowded and dysfunctional Muni routes in San Francisco.Read more »
Interesting letter to sfist, which typically loves the new rideshare companies like Lyft and Sidecar. The writer, apparently a cab driver, makes clear why these unlicensed cabs are a problem:Read more »
Of course the Chron portrays it as "The latest battle pitting disruptive high-tech innovators against old-school industries and regulators," because that makes for good copy. It also puts the taxicab industry and the people who oversee it in the position of being dinosaurs fighting against an inevitable new world.Read more »