Popular blog 40 Going on 28 helpfully points out why it’s, generally, a misdemeanor when a San Francisco taxi driver refuses to convey you to your destination in the City. Read about the Failure to Convey rule below.
Now, the reason why your hack doesn’t want to drive all the way out to the foggy West Bay, sometimes, is the same reason some waiters get upset if you don’t order a bottle of wine at dinner – it’s because you’re a bad customer and you’re causing them to “lose money.”
Now actually, said waiter or cabbie is still making money on a deadbeat customer who wants to eat just the cheapest entree (and “still” water from the tap) or who wants to go to 48th and Judah, but it’s not as much money. Probably.
Now, if a cabbie thought that he (generally he, but not always, I acknowledge) had a ghost of a chance picking up a return fare from The Outset, from the Land of Wind and Ghosts, and bringing said fare all the way back to San Francisco, well, that would improve his attitude 100%. But, probably, he’ll end up dead-heading (driving empty) back to the place where he, unfortunately, met up with you.
So, the cabbie feels like you are taking five or ten dollars out of his pocket because that’s how much less money he’ll have at the end of the night. Probably. (It’s the same thing with some waiters, so if I hear that employees at some place like Fleur de Lys on Sutter are being told to “push absinthe” or whatever on patrons at an (unstated) $25 a shot, well it makes you not want to go to Fleur de Lys, oh well, even though you know your ladyfriend would like to go there and see famous, ponytailed Hubert and then take pictures of the architectural desserts she’s about to sample…)
If you want, you can note the cab number and the time and file a complaint, but he knows you probably won’t do that. Because it’s a pain. Oh well. Now, NYC does sting operations sometimes to fight this mentality, but that kind of thing would take a lot of effort here, oh well.
If there are cabs lined up at a hotel, sometimes I’ll go to the last one in line and ask him if he wants to go to some intersection, some out of the way place. It’s breaking the rules but oh well – it seems to work out better for all involved. (Act like you’re asking him for a favor, cause you sort of are, sometimes….)
Anyway, that’s WHY YOUR CABBIE SEEMS TO HATE YOU, sometimes.
Oh, there’s a cab! (They seem to accumulate around City Hall, for some reason…)
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All the deets:
“IMPORTANT UPDATE!!!!!!! I am notified by helpful reader Laura that cabbies ARE NOT ALLOWED to turn you down if you say you’re going to Judah and 48th or whatever. She even sent me this info:
Under the Transportation Code Section 1108(e)(1), taxi drivers shall not refuse, direct or permit the refusal of prospective passengers in any place within the City for transportation to any other place in the City, or to or from the San Francisco International Airport, or to the Oakland International Airport, or paratransit passengers within the Paratransit Program service area, at rates authorized by law, if the prospective passengers present themselves for transportation in a clean, coherent, safe and orderly manner and for a lawful purpose and the Driver has sufficient time before the end of his or her shift.
If you should witness this happening again, please write down the cab number, name of the cab company, date and time of the incident and report it to our 311 center. The report will then be forwarded to our office for review. 311 is available 24/7 at 415-701-2311. Or you can dial 311 directly on your cell phone if you have a 415 area code.”