Reader Drew passes along an article about San Francisco airport officials arresting rideshare drivers.
In the past month, San Francisco International Airport officials have been citing and arresting drivers from mobile-app enabled rideshare companies that pick up and drop off passengers, an airport spokesman said.
Airport spokesman Doug Yakel said there have been seven citizen arrests issued to “various offenders” since July 10.
The airport had issued cease and desist letters to several rideshare companies, including Lyft, Sidecar and Uber, in April.
The arrests are for trespassing, although legal technicalities aside I’m not sure how the concept of trespass can make sense for someone dropping a passenger off at an airport. And I’m curious how they know a driver is on a trip with Uber rather than making a trip through their normal pre-scheduled car service company. (Update: as mentioned in the comments, the article must be referring to Uber’s newer ‘UberX’ ridesharing service.)
Taxi drivers are rallying to have their competition legally shut down.
Taxi drivers are holding a noon rally at San Francisco City Hall Tuesday to “keep taxis regulated and safe” and are calling for the end of ridesharing services.
The taxi group, comprised of members from the San Francisco Cab Drivers Association and the United Taxicab Workers of San Francisco, are demanding that city officials and regulatory agencies consider rideshare companies as illegal taxi services.
Advocates of banning car service apps and ridesharing claim that services are “exempt from regulation, vehicle inspections, and insurance and driver requirements” and are a “clear public safety hazard.”
I’m not sure how this makes sense.
- California doesn’t require commercial drivers licenses for taxi cab drivers. Private drivers must of course be licensed.
- And of course a friend who may drive you to the airport doesn’t have additional burdens, is having your spouse take you to the airport a public safety hazard?
- Lyft imposes substantial safety requirements on people who would offer you rides. They do background checks and disqualify anyone with more than 2 moving violations within 3 years or a DUI or drug-related driving violation within 7 years, as well as anyone with a felony, violent crime, theft, or sex conviction. They do safety inspections and add $1 million liability on top of the driver’s insurance. Their requirements are more stringent than those required in the state.
Taxi cab drivers aren’t concerned with the safety offered by other services, and the safety questions aren’t compelling. They are concerned with competition and want the government to protect their revenue model.
On average I’d feel more comfortable with a car and driver working through Lyft than a taxi. Do you disagree?
I wonder if this post will net me the San Francisco equivalent of the nastygram I received from the DC Taxi Commission.