Uber users may soon be picked up by SF taxis if the app rides along with competitors

As it became known to The Chronicle, Uber, whose travel service led to a breakdown in the taxi industry, is now collaborating with all taxis in his hometown of San Francisco.

The Uber deal, signed Monday with Yellow Cab SF and Flywheel Technologies, means Bay Area passengers calling for an Uber trip can see one of 1,075 city taxis that will show up to transport them in the coming months. Last month, Uber signed a similar pact to host all New York City taxis in its app.

Taxis and Uber have long quarreled. Uber founder Travis Kolonik famously called the industry greedy and corrupt, and taxi drivers are outraged by the easier startup rules as unfair. But Uber now sees taxis as a natural growth area – in fact, it hopes that by 2025, all taxis in the world will have Uber, one head recently said.

For Uber the partnership in San Francisco provides hundreds of additional drivers at a time when its contractors are slowly returning from pandemic breaks. For taxi drivers who have seen siphons ride and are now struggling to recover from the pandemic, this brings in more customers – albeit sometimes at lower prices, as Uber fares are often cheaper than in taxis, albeit during a “spike” “, Or times of high demand. For racers, this increases the supply of cars.

“San Francisco taxi drivers will have more access to demand, and cities will get fewer empty miles, which is beneficial to the drivers, racers and cities we serve,” said Dennis Cinelli, Uber’s vice president of mobility at USA and Canada. in the statement.

Yellow Cab San Francisco is partnering with Uber, like Flywheel Technologies, in a deal that will put all SF taxis on Uber.

McArdle Hankin / San Francisco Chronicle

Clearing the way for the deal, the San Francisco City Transportation Agency board voted Tuesday to allow taxis to accept fixed advance rates – which may differ from tariff rates – for third-party e-travel. The pilot single year will be implemented by August 5.

Just over a dozen taxi drivers spoke out against the partnership with Uber during the SFMTA meeting, while about four drivers and four taxi owners spoke out in support of the idea, saying it would create the necessary new business.

Mark Gruberg, a longtime Green Cab driver and board member of the San Francisco Taxi Alliance, said he was concerned that the flow of higher-paying requests during busy times would mean that conventional taxis, especially paratransit users, “could leave in the cold.”

Kate Thorne, director of SFMTA’s Taxi, Access and Mobility Service, said about 60% of the city’s 100 wheelchair ramp taxis are currently out of order. “We have a lot of room to grow and we would be happy to grow,” she said.

Taxi trips via Uber will cost the same as UberX trips, which are calculated based on the base fare plus travel time and distance. Taxi drivers, who will know in advance which trips come from Uber and that they will be paid, can accept or reject Uber trips without consequences for refusal, Uber noted. The salary of a taxi driver for a trip to Uber can be the same, more or less than the fare on the counter.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Thorne said tariffs on Uber and Lyft are about 80-85% of taxi fares, according to an analysis of companies’ reports by their state regulator for 2020.

Taxi drivers will be entitled to a temporary gas fee from Uber of 45 to 55 cents per trip if it is still valid if they join forces.

Executives Flywheel and Yellow have both said they think the deal will benefit taxi drivers.

“For drivers, it can fill a lot of gaps when they’re not busy,” Chris Sveis, CEO of Yellow Cab, said in an interview. “If they have dead time during the day, they end up with a much better situation with profits rather than no income, even if it’s below the taxi rate. And it’s optional for drivers; they can choose whether to participate or not. “

Hansu Kim, CEO of Flywheel, said he sees the deal as a win-win for Taxi and Uber.

“I believe it will revive regulated taxi services in the future,” he said in an interview. “Even drivers who are skeptical are hopeful. We will now have access to all Uber passengers. ”

Leave a Comment