Tags: sfo | taxi | protest | ride-sharing | backfires

SFO Taxi Protest Against Ride-Sharing Apps Backfires

By    |   Wednesday, 19 Nov 2014 07:15 AM

An SFO taxi protest against app-based ride-sharing services like Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar all but shut down traffic at the Bay Area's airport Monday night.

"It’s a lot of unfair competition and it’s going to put the taxis out of business," Barry Korengold of San Francisco's Taxi Workers Alliance told CBS News. "We’re not allowed to have this on-off insurance policy. We have to have 100 percent insurance. That’s how taxi cabs are regulated."

Ride-sharing companies had largely ignored cease-and-desist orders from airport administrators for months, leading the airport to strike a compromise deal with them that took the form of a 90-day pilot program. According to The Huffington Post, the ride-sharing services are required to pay a $3.85 fee for each ride to or from the airport. Taxis have always paid a fee, which they've reported is $4.

Nonetheless, the playing field is not quite even.

There are still disparities in the amount of insurance coverage required by taxi drivers, taxis must undergo regular vehicle safety inspections by local bureaucrats, and taxi drivers must complete driver safety courses.

Moreover, the taxi companies pointed out in a protest flyer obtained by TechCrunch that they're required to line up and wait for fares in the designated taxi lane, while the ride-sharing companies can pick up their fares in the public arrivals area. They say this is especially unfair because they too have smartphone apps that can guide them to their passengers, such as Flywheel and Curb, but aren’t allowed to use them at the airport.

"They don’t know where they’re going because they don’t know the city," taxi driver Skot Ballard explained to the San Francisco Chronicle. "They’re always looking at their phones, which just isn’t safe."

The protest wound down around 11 p.m. as was planned. Many passengers inconvenienced by the protest didn't seem too sympathetic to the taxi drivers, and voiced their opinions on Twitter. Maybe instead of fighting their competition and inconveniencing their customers, they should be fighting onerous city regulations and inconveniencing the lawmakers who've hobbled them.






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An SFO taxi protest against app-based ride-sharing services like Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar all but shut down traffic at the Bay Area's airport Monday night.
sfo, taxi, protest, ride-sharing, backfires
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2014-15-19
Wednesday, 19 Nov 2014 07:15 AM
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