A fellow SF taxi driver and blogger, the same guy or gal that posted a great map of where to find a cab in the City, posted a few pictures of a taxi operating illegally in the City during his evening shift. Then he posted a few more of another illegal cab.
A few weeks ago the Examiner reported on a crack down of illegal limos operating as for hire taxis on the streets. (Limos in the City are only supposed to pick up pre-arranged fares. They are not permitted to pick up on the street.)
Should the City be cracking down on illegal operators? Of course.
- Illegal taxis often operate with no meter at all, or a meter that hasn’t been approved by the City Department of Agriculture and Weights and Measures. Customers can be easily ripped off in these situations.
- Vehicle safety isn’t regulated.
- Nor are driver ability or criminal background history checked. These drivers could be operating without a valid California driving license!
- If you leave you cell phone in the cab, who would you call to get it back?
- If you’re injured in an accident and it’s the operator’s fault, he or she may not have proper liability coverage. You would have to foot your own medical bills.
But, the real problem is that there aren’t enough cabs on the street during peak hours. When I work, often during non-peak shifts, I RARELY see bandit cabs. Why? I work kinda crappy (off-peak) shifts when extra cabs are obviously not needed.
The prevalence of illegal bandit cabs operating despite these considerable risks is strong evidence that our City needs peak medallions, the ability to operate more LEGAL taxicabs during peak times, immediately.
The City’s inability to implement peak medallions encourages the operation of illegal taxis which pose a real danger to City residents and guests.