SFMTA Aiming For Better Taxi Service With New Dispatch Rules

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Barbara Taylor is the long time San Francisco City Hall Bureau Chief...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Agency is making some changes in the taxi cab dispatch system with hopes to improve the chances of getting a cab when you call one.

The city has 10 different taxi dispatch companies, but getting a cab to actually arrive can be difficult.

Chris Hayashi, director of taxi services, said the goal is to wean out the non-responders by requiring dispatchers to have a minimum number of cabs at their disposal.

“These represent a gradual ramping up of dispatch service responsiveness to the public,” she said.

Large cab companies like Yellow Cab, Luxor, and Desoto have lots of taxis and endorse the changes, but smaller dispatchers with fewer cabs are worried about losing their permits.

Some argue that certain dispatch companies can have less taxis at their disposal but still manage to provide better service than companies with larger fleets.

Under the new rules, dispatch service must have at least 50 cabs and 250 successful dispatches a day by the end of the year. Those numbers will gradually rise to 100 medallions and 500 potentially happy customers by 2015.

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