Uber (and Lyft) Finally Bankrupted San Francisco's Favourite Taxi Company

Uber (and Lyft) Finally Bankrupted San Francisco's Favourite Taxi Company

Here's one we probably saw coming. San Francisco's largest taxi company is filing for bankruptcy, citing competition from Uber and Lyft. But it's not too late for Yellow Cab yet. The SF Examiner has a statement from the Yellow Cab Co-Op that points out an interesting reason for their slumping business. It's not that riders are being lured away by on-demand apps; drivers are decamping to places like Uber and Lyft as well:

...we must get more paid shifts and more drivers paying them. This our principle source of our income. For that to happen we need to have not just more drivers, but more drivers who are happy to be behind the wheel of a Yellow cab because we offer the best opportunity to make a living in a taxi.

The labour issue is certainly a troubling one as there's been so much controversy about on-demand drivers operating as independent contractors. Seattle recently allowed Uber and Lyft drivers to unionise.

But there's something else to consider here, too: The customers who rely on cabs to get around and won't have many other options if cabs go away.

So let's hope Yellow Cab can reorganise to attract more drivers. The company is in a great position since it can look at how other traditional cab companies are adapting to the changing marketplace. In other US cities, taxis have extensively revamped their tech features to compete: New York City's taxis now have an app and Long Beach rebranded its taxis to attract younger riders. Even in San Francisco, the city's second-largest taxi company, DeSoto Cab, became part of the new app-savvy startup Flywheel.

Yellow Cab has an app -- which touts "no surge pricing" right there on the page -- and a hybrid fleet, but other than those things it hasn't innovated much at all. And that lag has probably hurt the livelihood of its drivers. Now is Yellow Cab's chance to show where a taxi company can shine in this transportation battle -- by hiring and retaining skilled professional drivers who actually make the driving experience better for their passengers.

[SF Examiner]

Photo via Yellow Cab



    Why isn't Uber stepping up and offering to look after disabled passengers? Oh, I know, it's because all they care about is money.

      No because depending on the disability that the person has it could mean having a specialist vehicle and as Uber drivers are using their own personal car it would require that this car have any required modifications.

        So if the taxi companies close and uber won't take disabled people, how are they going to get around ?

          And this is Uber's fault how?

          On top of that, is that reason for Uber to pack up shop?

          Businesses need to evolve... NOTHING, is "Too Big To Fail".

            Not ubers fault. Just saying that if our taxi companies close (and yeah, uber operating on lower fees than the Taxis is unfair but whatever) and the only reason that we have disability Taxis is that the government offered the licences for those Taxis on the extreme cheap. As such I'd be surprised if any uber driver would spend the excess money to convert his car to carry the disabled and so we might be in the unfortunate position where disabled people won't be able to get around in the future and that should be a concern.

              Sorry but Uber isnt operating on a lower fair. People choose Uber because they offer a far more superior service. Drivers speak to you and offers you drinks, they dont talk on the phone to their wives while driving, they are more careful on the road. People can track when their ride is arriving and don't have to wait 2 hrs for a cab to travel a few kms. Has nothing to do with cost.

    Well, It's quite CLEARLY not the favorite taxi company if it's being bankrupted now, is it?

    I drive uber in my taxi. Passengers don't give a shit that they're being picked up in a taxi. All they care about are the lower rates. 4.7 stars and over 2600 jobs btw.

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