Private transportation start-ups like Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar are chipping away at the foundation of the traditional taxi and the companies that operate the cabs. This has created some animosity between companies like Uber and taxi firms in some parts of the world. One example is the Uber driver and passengers that were reportedly attacked by Taxi drivers in Paris.
It looks like these private transportation firms are making some big changes in San Francisco as well. The San Francisco Cab Drivers Association is an association that promotes fair working conditions and business practices in the taxi industry. According to the association, about 1/3 of all registered taxi drivers in San Francisco have stopped driving registered taxis in the last 12 months and started working for firms like Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar.
There are 8500 taxi drivers in San Francisco and over 2800 of them have moved to private transportation companies. Uber has helped win new customers to its service by slashing fare prices making it cheaper than traditional taxis. Customers like firms such as Uber and others because they can book their taxi with an app in a few touches rather than searching out a cab and flagging it down.
While many traditional taxi drivers are seeing their income drop, Uber drivers are claiming increased income and shorter work schedules. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency plans to fight Uber and firms like it by increasing the number of taxis on the road. Last year there were 1900 permits to operate a cab and this year there will be over 2100.