WTH: Is this an illegal taxi waiting to pick up random passengers arriving at the CalTrain station at 4th and King in SoMA? Looks that way.
Per some sleuthing from Kevin Montgomery of Uptown Almanac, I’d say it’s safe to say:
THAT “LYFT” COMPANY IS OPERATING AN ILLEGAL TAXI SERVICE IN SAN FRANCISCO RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW
But these “sharing economy” pirates don’t fly the Jolly Roger, no no, a pink mustache is what they use when they steal food from the mouths of the kids of all the taxi drivers and impoverished SFMTA MUNI DPT workers about town.
Let’s let Ryan Lawler of TechChrunch ‘splain:
“It’s been just eight weeks since Zimride’s ride-sharing service, Lyft, was launched in beta, providing San Francisco users a low-cost alternative to cabs and Ubers. Since then, the service has grown a tremendous amount: It’s got more than 100 drivers operating in the area, who together are taking hundreds of riders a day.
Lyft works like other car transportation apps: You open it up and the app searches for available cars nearby. Difference is, those cars are driven by regular folks, not your usual surly taxi driver or buttoned up Uber driver. Users can rate their drivers, and at the end of the ride, there’s a suggested donation, which is typically about 80 percent of your average taxi fare. Drivers also rate their passengers….”
And Tomio Geron of Forbes, for one, thinks that the private auto will soon be a thing of the past, so great this “new” idea is. Check it:
“The companies say they enable ride sharing–essentially a form of carpooling–and take voluntary donations so they aren’t taxis. But Lyft and SideCar rides aren’t exactly like carpools. Carpools are for people who are already going somewhere and pick someone up along the way. People who drive for Lyft and SideCar generally aren’t going anywhere. Some drivers may be using it to pick someone up, but many are driving around the city looking to pick up riders, like taxis do. So services like Lyft and Carshare may force San Francisco and other government agencies to rethink what a ride share is.”
All right, but until that time that the City and County of San Francisco does a rethink, Lyft aint legal.
Why? Well let’s see. Insurance? Registered paint scheme? Medallion? Taxi license? Stickers on the outside of your ride? “SAN FRANCISCO TAXI” written somewhere on the car? Waybills filed daily?
Lyft dispenses with all of this because passengers simply “donate” the fare to the hack.? Yeah, I don’t think so.
Hey, how about this? What if Zimride next opened a cut-rate cathouse, one where Johns would have to put up a deposit upon entrance? And then he’d “donate” money to the sex worker, who would then immediately afterwards rate him as a John. And then if the rating weren’t high enough, he’d get banned and lose his deposit. Wouldn’t that work the way Lyft works? And, my, wouldn’t that “disrupt” the local prostitution biz?
And would the donated income be considered income by the IRS? Or not, I don’t know.
Ooh, here’s one, prowling the Western Addition just yesterday:
Click to expand
“License plates front or rear? No thanks, not for me. But my pink carstache is an offer for you to flag me down.” Or maybe this non-hipster-looking dude is an actual kicky hipster, just having fun decorating his car? I can’t tell.
Or, let’s say you want to kidnap somebody. Don’t go to the trouble of obtaining a car what looks like a taxi, just put a pink mustache on your econocar and soon you’ll have kidnappees flagging you down? Mmmmm.
Hey, SFMTA! How much money are you making from Lyft?
Absolutely nothing. I’ll say it again, absolutely nothing. Lyft, what is it good for?
Hey SFMTA! What driver is going to want to pay a 50% tax(!) on a taxi medallion if thousands of pink mustached cars disrupt the highly regulated taxi industry of the 415?
Hey SFMTA! You “manage” everything else in town, why not Lyft too?
‘Cause right now, this pink mustache company is drinking your milkshake.
They drink it up:
This will not stand, this aggression against the cabdrivers of San Francisco.