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San Francisco Taxi Drivers Migrate To Rideshare Services

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Taxi cabs wait for fares in front of the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Taxi cabs wait for fares in front of the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — As many as one-third of San Francisco’s cab drivers have ditched their licenses and are driving for ridesharing services instead, according to the city’s taxi association.

The San Francisco Cab Drivers Association reports that over 3,000 people are driving for Uber, Lyft and Sidecar and that many came—nearly one-third—from the city’s pool of 8,500 taxi drivers.

Passengers are flocking to the new services, and so are drivers like Henry, who didn’t wan to use his last name. He said that Uber lets him set his own hours and brings him a better class of customers.

“We are not afraid like the tax drivers are. Sometimes, they are worried about picking up the wrong customer,” Henry said.

“Because customers of Uber, they all have accounts—they all have credit cards. The chances are less for trouble.”

Meanwhile, Dan, a cab driver who only wanted to use his first name, said startup rivals are “killing” him.

“They are taking a lot of our business and that’s not good,” he said, adding he had no interest in switching.

SFCDA President Barry Korengold calls it a dangerous trend could “eventually do away with the taxi cab industry.”

“There won’t be anybody to pick up people without credit cards or smartphones,” he said.

In order to compete, most official cabs now use Flywheel, a smartphone app allow people to summon a taxi cab and save 10 percent from regular fares.

(Copyright 2014 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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