Pink Mustaches? Attention Zimride “Lyft” Owners/Employees: You Are Operating an Illegal Taxi Service in San Francisco

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.

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51 Responses to “Pink Mustaches? Attention Zimride “Lyft” Owners/Employees: You Are Operating an Illegal Taxi Service in San Francisco”

  1. Ash says:

    Why is it illegal again?!

  2. sfcitizen says:

    No medallion, waybill, registered paint scheme, etc.

    Maybe I should open a McDonalds but I won’t charge tax, you know, because you’re my fist-bumping friend and we’re buds, oh, but if you don’t “donate” enough cash for my food, then you can’t come back anymore. See? Everybody wins…

  3. Ash says:

    It is a non-commercial vehicle, no need an extra insurance or medallion – it is not a taxi or a car/limo services!

    What waybill you’re referring to?! It is not a business; a driver who simply giving a ride for free or some donation as a gift at the end is responsible to follow tax/income laws and fill out tax returns/deductions properly!

    Etc?! Please define in details! You’re just saying: “it is illegal”, but cannot point exactly where LYFT “breaks” the law!

  4. Ash says:

    Come to my house party, I will give you a burger and you will decide how happy you are and if you would like to donate (you don’t have to and I don’t mind, and not asking), but if you really did like my burgers would you mind of giving me some donation to have it again?!

    Do I have to open a restaurant, right in my house now, because you gave me 5 dollars as gratitude?!
    I did not sell it to you, you donated yourself! It was never a set price to my burgers! You can give me 2 dollars next day and it is going to be my decision to invite you again to my house or not; probably, I won’t, because my burgers are much better than that!
    Am I breaking any law?!

  5. SFC says:

    Oh, but it is a taxi. You don’t have to pay any money to make Lyft your taxi service? That’s not true.

    Lyft has no license, approved paint scheme etc.

    Sounds like you’d need a permit for your eatery. Depends on the location.

  6. Ash says:

    How, LIFT is TAXI?!
    What license are you referring to?!

    Why do, l I need an eatery license in my own house?!

    Please before saying something read and learn law, at least for California; and please point out disobeyed penal and administration codes!

  7. molly zimmermam says:

    That sounds like Daisy Bermudez wrote that. Huh so typical .

  8. Ash says:

    You did not provide me links to point out specific disobeyed California and Federal laws, just articles like this one – without any prove, just words and unprofessional opinion of someone who heard something, but does not know what they heard!

    Prostitution is illegal in California and here is the prove: Penal Code 647 (b) PC

    Same, I want you to do with “LYFT” and with me getting 5 dollars as a gratitude for my burger in my house! Please point out penal codes!
    Until then, please read and learn law!

  9. Ash says:

    Oh I see now.

    Wow, I hope Lyft and SideCar don’t get hit with an injunction the way others have.

    And I guess that whole “donation” thing probably won’t fly for too long.

    And I guess that I couldn’t stiff my Lyft or SideCar cabbie more than once or twice before my low rating would mean that nobody would pick me up anymore.

  10. sfcitizen says:

    Now you’re on the trolley. Glad I could help.

  11. Ash says:

    To a fake Ash, please do not use my nick!

  12. Ash says:

    Once again and for the last time!
    LYFT does not sale rides, a person (“driver”) who is using a software, which LYFT offers – GIVES a FREE ride to a person (“passenger”), if a person (“passenger”), decides to give some gratitude/ donation to a person (“driver”), go ahead and sue that person for … what?!!
    There is no “at the curb” or “hailing” pickups! LYFT is not a taxi or a car service GET IT IN YOUR HEAD!
    If California will make amendments in rules and regulations of transportation laws and will decide that LYFT is taxi or car service, then will talk! Until, then, please stop embarrassing yourself with unproven messages, before you will get sued for Defamation: California Civil Code 44, 45, 45a and 46!

  13. Ash/Эш (real Ash) says:

    Once again and for the last time!
    LYFT does not sale rides, a person (“driver”) who is using a software, which LYFT offers – GIVES a FREE ride to a person (“passenger”), if a person (“passenger”), decides to give some gratitude/ donation to a person (“driver”), go ahead and sue that person for … what?!!
    There is no “at the curb” or “hailing” pickups! LYFT is not a taxi or a car service GET IT IN YOUR HEAD!
    If California will make amendments in rules and regulations of transportation laws and will decide that LYFT is taxi or car service, then will talk! Until, then, please stop embarrassing yourself with unproven messages, before you will get sued for Defamation: California Civil Code 44, 45, 45a and 46!

  14. Ash/Эш (real Ash) says:

    To a fake Ash please do not use my nick to post this comment:

    “Ash says:
    September 25, 2012 at 12:44 pm
    Oh I see now.

    Wow, I hope Lyft and SideCar don’t get hit with an injunction the way others have.

    And I guess that whole “donation” thing probably won’t fly for too long.

    And I guess that I couldn’t stiff my Lyft or SideCar cabbie more than once or twice before my low rating would mean that nobody would pick me up anymore.”

  15. Ash/Эш (real Ash) says:

    sfcitizen you are a moron who speaks to himself using my nick, it means that I am right and you are dumb, who just don’t know what to say!

  16. sfcitizen says:

    Nicknames? Well I don’t approve of that. Hey, maybe you’re a dood, Ash? Or a dog? You know, on the Internet, nobody knows if you’re a dog they say.

    And you’re not too quick on the uptake, but you got the joke eventually, so that’s nice.

    How many times can riders actually use your service for free? I’d say about once. Max. So you’re being facetious, non?

    So it’ll be fist bump, ride, thanks for the free ride friend, a concomitant 0-star rating for the passenger and then no other Lyfters will ever pick up that particular passenger ever again.

    Is that what your “sharing economy” is all about?

    Do you have written letters from your attorneys saying how you’re legal? Why not then release them, cites and all?

    Why doesn’t SideCar, you know, the Original, get criticized the way Lyft does?

  17. Ash/Эш (real Ash) says:

    I am a person! LYFT is not my service! If you are a taxi driver who’s upset, because someone is smarter than your empty bone on the shoulders, then look for another job! If you are a “rider” who’s upset abot 0 star rating, act better next time!
    Go to LYFT and ask them all questions about how many riders and drivers they have, so far, I can see that LYFT is in business and you are getting pushed out of it, if you are a taxi driver or medallion holder!
    I am an attorney, you’re moron and I am giving you a free advice read and learn law, before writing something that you have no idea about, especially start from Defamation: California Civil Code 44, 45, 45a and 46!

  18. Ash/Эш (real Ash) says:

    Now, about “SideCar”, same story, not a taxi, not a car service; if you are a “SideCar” member get a hold of yourself and go through competing crisis and stop crying like a sissy-girl!

  19. sfcitizen says:

    I’m not a taxi driver.

    IMO, the operators of Lyft are reckless. In yours, not. OK.

    I’ve never been lyfted myself. Also, I, like a lot of poor, undesirable people in town, am not on the FB, so I’m not eligible for “your” service anywho.

    Why should I care how many drivers Lyft has?

    Well, I’ll wait for Lyft’s takedown notice to arrive then. Seems to taking a while tho…

  20. Ash/Эш (real Ash) says:

    LYFT is not my service!
    Yes, why do you care how many drivers and how the service works in the first place?!
    Why did you write this then!?
    “So it’ll be fist bump, ride, thanks for the free ride friend, a concomitant 0-star rating for the passenger and then no other Lyfters will ever pick up that particular passenger ever again.
    Is that what your “sharing economy” is all about?”

  21. Ash/Эш (real Ash) says:

    Are you upset, because you are not a member of LYFT community?!

  22. Ash/Эш (real Ash) says:

    Don’t be it is open for every one even you!

  23. Ash/Эш (real Ash) says:

    Why are you waiting for LYFT to get shut down?! What LYFT did to you!

  24. sfcitizen says:

    Not upset. I think you’re the upset one.

    I’m showing you how the idea that people can use Lyft without paying is absurd.

    SideCar is the same, i’ll agree. But I’ve never used it either. I have a bike and a car and there’s always MUNI too. You see, there aren’t enough taxis in town. By design. So I get my own self around taxi-free.

    I don’t want to be a Lyfter.

  25. sfcitizen says:

    I’m just pointing out that Lyft is illegal. This contradicts the CEO, who says that Lyft is “100% legal.”

  26. Ash/Эш (real Ash) says:

    Again, LYFT is not illegal! And by posting libel messages you may be sued by LYFT!
    I am not upset, you are! Why do you need to challenge LYFT and its CEO?!

  27. Ash/Эш (real Ash) says:

    Only after a judgment you may say it is illegal, until then stop the defamation!

  28. sfcitizen says:

    It’s a free country, right?

    You know 100% for sure that Lyft is 100% legal. OK fine.

  29. Ash/Эш (real Ash) says:

    It is a free country, but I am advising you that you are committing an illegal act now!

  30. sfcitizen says:

    So I can’t say that OJ Simpson killed Nicole because I have to wait for a judgment first? All right. But IRL he killed Nicole.

  31. sfcitizen says:

    Offering my opinion is illegal? News to me…

  32. Ash/Эш (real Ash) says:

    You may say that you think he did it! Huge difference!

  33. Ash/Эш (real Ash) says:

    Opinion and defamation is a huge difference!

  34. just a note says:

    So you know, lyft drivers can’t pick up people and don’t look for fares, the app runs so that the rider calls the ride. If SF would add more medallions and stop choking the taxi system in this city, maybe there wouldn’t be a gaping hole in service to fill.

  35. just a note says:

    Why are lyft drivers, “reckless”? In that they have clean driving records and do not get in wrecks?

  36. sfcitizen says:

    The operators of Lyft, the people what run the company, are the reckless ones, not the drivers necessarily.

    Lyft doesn’t seem to care what the law is and what regulators are telling it.

    It wasn’t obvious to me that Lyft drivers don’t pick up people off the street illegally.

  37. visno says:

    @Ash

    im not a cab driver, however i do run a small business in a specialized niche the construction supply industry. there is a reason why businesses need permits and insurance, etc to operate. these are legal measures to protect both the vendor (in this case the driver) as well as the consumer (passenger). if you get into a LYFT ride, and you are involved in a serious accident, and the LYFT driver’s insurance does not cover your injuries as a passenger (assuming he even has insurance, this is important), what happens to you or the driver? permits are needed to allow the driver to operate. the driver becomes part of a system where he/she is accountable. the driver is registered and trackable. the driver is also taxable. LYFT is a dressed up gypsy cab service, operating for cash under the table. period. its not necessarily “illegal” as it is operating through various loopholes, but it certainly does blur some grey areas.

  38. lenny kovlak says:

    I’m a real cabdriver, & these pink moustache drivers are belittling my profession, this is their hobby!!!! I don’t sit in a flourescently lit cubicle, tweaked on redbull, writing code. I’ve gone to school & registered & pay taxes w/ the City & County of San Francisco to drive a legal taxi. These Lyft drivers operate on donations. Want a FREE ride? don’t donate!!!!!!! peace, Lenny

  39. competition is healthy! says:

    Yeah, they are stealing all of that food right out of the little ones’ mouths, cause most taxi drivers are just sitting around waiting for fares in SF. Get real. You know how hard it can be to find a cab in this town. I once hailed an available taxi on a rainy day (Hallelujah!), only to have the driver find my destination in SF inconvenient and drive away, leaving me brokenhearted in the rain. I’ve also walked two miles at night because my cab didn’t show, and all the while I was trying to hail one along the way. Let’s face it, the only reason Lyft exists is because the taxi industry has left a gaping hole in their service that someone else is trying to fill.

  40. kyle says:

    nothing is illegal until a law is made about it. If they are just taking people to where they want to go because they can and are accepting donations, there is no law against that. The only problem is that it is upsetting taxi drivers and taking their business. They will not be able to be sued or held accountable until the city can decide what a ‘ride share’ is, and even then, Lyft will only be in trouble if it fails to abide by them.

  41. sfcitizen says:

    No license no medallion no stickers no approved paint scheme no…

  42. Robert Lemek says:

    Typical liberal- and likely, fat ass- sitting at home complaining about people going out and making a living. Picking at every bit of legislation that was designed to REDUCE competition. Yet, every liberal thinks legislation is there to protect them.. HA- it’s there to protect special interests. I’ve lived here my entire life; San Francisco is full of “getting around the law” folks. All the day laborers that work for people without workers comp insurance or OSHA inspectors, bad scaffolding, lead paint, no oversight. Smoking in the back of bars. Driving in the carpool or bus lanes down market. Drinking in public. All illegal. Yes. But.. who cares? Lets be free and live. Get out and produce values, innovations, inventions, businesses, commerce, trade and prosperity for yourself and this world. Stop complaining. You’re not going to become a famous blog writer.

  43. sfcitizen says:

    too late, already am

  44. Cory says:

    You are an idiot. I would never support taxi drivers. They are usually, no wait, ALWAYS rude and eating food and talking on the phone and pretending they don’t know where they are going so that you pay a longer fare!!! Taxis rip people off taking food off people’s table by overcharging for a unpleasant usually smelly ride!!!! GO LYFT!!!! Make the taxis sit in a store like most other people. Also make them get a nice car and keep it clean and try some customer service maybe then people will feel bad for the taxi drivers

  45. Enlightened says:

    visiting SF a couple times a month, i see taxis speeding, not stopping to let pedestrians pass. illegal turns, not stopping for people waving them down, a lot on their Bluetooth almost yelling at the other person. what kind of a consumer wants that sh1tty service?

    The community is the one picking Lyft over taxis. wake up and smell the roses. Taxis are has beened, dear taxi drivers with customer skills, why not join Lyft, if its that much of a change in your income….

  46. Watcher says:

    Very hard to see how Lyft and the others are not in violation of commercial vehicle (taxi, limousine) regulations. All the nonsense and mumbo jumbo about “sharing” and “donations” is just a smoke screen (or maybe better to say a fig leaf). Are the owners of Lyft just volunteers, or are they seeking to make a profit? Is Lyft a secret known only to a few close friends, or is it a commercial vehicle service soliciting itself to the public? If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, and has webbed feet like a duck, and sports an ugly pink mustache like a duck, etc.

  47. Lili says:

    OMG! It seems that lot of negative comments are from taxi drivers! LMAO! They are so jealous and threaten by Lyft. Screw all the cab drivers. They are rude, never on time and over charge you. I will never take a cab again. Lyft is legal like it or not. Taxi drivers, you are going to have to deal with it because, we, the people will support Lyft. Yep, cab drivers, Karma’s a bitch you just deserve what’s happening.

  48. John says:

    Lyft is marketing for the millennial generation where there is no felling of customer and employee, instead its all a happy family working together without competition. The company is very reflective of this young generation operating it.

    If you’re over 35, don’t think you can get a job as a driver. If you don’t have that “hipster” image….forget it! Clean cut professionals, nope! thats what they are NOT looking for. I tried to be a driver for them and was told “not interested.” As the company grew and I saw the demographic they market to and have working for them I see why.

    I’m sorry they are hurting the cabbies!!

    Signed

    Generation X frustrated person with Lyft

  49. Carl Joseph says:

    Limo Companies fail to realize this is America! Learn to deal with it! It was ok when these Bigger Limo Companies started out, they just don’t like competition. Deal With It this is AMERICA!