Phil Matier: Taxi Use Plummets In San Francisco As Popularity Of Rideshare Services Spikes

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – A new report by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has found a steep decline in the taxi industry, with rides dropping 65 percent over the past two years.

Part of the problem is obvious – the extraordinary rise in popularity of ride service companies like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar. The app-based services have had a dramatic impact on the taxi industry, with the report finding the average number of taxi trips on a steep and steady decline, from more than 1,400 a month in March 2012 to just over 500 this July.

Many in the taxi industry are calling for stricter regulations for these ride service companies from the state Public Utilities Commission. Unlike taxi operators, companies like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar have far fewer restrictions to deal with, from insurance to the number of cars put on the street.

The MTA has been trying to reduce fees for taxi drivers to help their bottom line, but cabbies said the real solution is to make the competition follow the same rules .

 

You can hear Phil Matier’s comments Monday through Friday at 7:50am and 5:50pm on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

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