I just saw this on SFist and it reminded me to post:
DeSoto Cab Wants To Turn Its Taxis Into Limo Sedans To Survive Among Uber, Lyft
I took a regular cab last night. I haven’t taken one in a while. That’s mostly because a while back I switched to using Uber and Lyft -as most of you know.
Most of my rides start “way out” in the Inner Richmond and cabs wouldn’t show up at my place because it was so far away or inconvenient.
And I follow along with the cab v uber news most of the time. Whether it was Dallas trying to keep Uber out, SF’s gentrification angle, or SAPD’s idiotic policy of trying to arrest drivers, I try to follow along with the stories. I’m sympathetic to both sides, but I’m clearly biased in favor of the ride sharing services.
But last night I took a regular cab to see how things were with cabs lately. The driver was gruff, but not mean. I told him where I wanted to go from downtown and saw the look of disappointment when he realized I wasn’t an airport fare. But he was fine and headed towards Fillmore.
His driving was erratic. He was trying to pass other drivers constantly. He honked at someone who didn’t drive through a yellow (in all fairness I wanted to do that too). We were clearly in a hurry even though I said I wasn’t. He eventually opened up and chatted a bit and was a little nicer. When I pointed out where I wanted to get dropped off (next to a restaurant) – he decided to stop in the crosswalk (which allowed him to illegally turn around on a yellow afterwards). But clearly it wasn’t Uber.
Lyft and Uber would have had me rate the driver immediately after the ride. (I would have only given the cab driver 3 stars because of the overly agressive driving and dropping me off in a crosswalk when a driveway was available). Uber/lyft drivers would have greeted me and offered water (not that I need it, but it’s a nice option). The payment options would have been settled immediately (and with electronic receipts). To contrast- I paid the cab in cash because I didn’t want to risk the driver telling me that his card POS was “down”.
I’ll continue to take cabs when I can catch them- usually at the end of a night after dinner, or after work in the more popular parts of SF. But it’s clear that they’d better change the way they work and quickly.