Monday, June 20, 2011

Taxi Strike in San Francisco Tommorrow

Tomorrow, all San Francisco-based taxis are set to go on strike. They’ll be circling City Hall in an attempt to influence the approval for higher rates from the city, reports TechCrunch.

The real problem in SF, though, is that the city severely limits the number of taxis in the city. The taxi licensing program, and the government dictate on rates, should both be eliminated . There are times when it is near impossible to get a taxi, which signals there are all kinds of distortions in the market. Getting the city out from under taxi restrictions will mean more taxis on the street (a lot more) and lower rates.


  1. We have the same thing in Cleveland. Only a select few taxi companies are allowed to pick up passengers from Cleveland Hopkins Airport or downtown, and the fares are limited by milage. The city of Cleveland has effectively instituted a taxi cartel, as well as price controls, and this happened about 5-6 years ago.

    When I fly into CLE (which has greatly diminished since the newer TSA debacle), I don't get a taxi, I pay a friend, ask for a favor, or have family pick me up. Last few times I had used a taxi the driver only tried to take the longest route due to the price restrictions per mile. He tried to take me on a backroad trip that would take an hour and many lights which could be done in 30 minutes on full highway.

    I ended up arguing with him and finally said "FU, drop me off right here". He seemed to have neglected that I grew up in NE Ohio and know the fastest path from point A to point B (I know where I am, and I know where I am going). If only he had realized that I would have given him a fat tip if he was honest; instead, he got no tip (just the fare). I, on the other hand, found the nearest corner bar and had the time of my life with complete strangers.

    I wonder what that cabby's been up to since then...

  2. I asked an SF taxi driver once why, at times, it's nearly impossible to find a cab in SF. He said that if they allowed more cabs in SF, there would be too many cabs (especially during non-peak hours) in the city and the cab drivers wouldn't make enough money to live on.

    Like with any other market where the government controls supply, in SF there is a large black market for cabs who usually charge twice the rate of a certified cab driver.

    If only they would let the free market settle this...