Rideshare Services Take On Increased Passenger Load During Morning Commute

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Ridesharing services are working to keep up with increased demand today, with BART service shut down.

Uber, which connects passengers to drivers through a mobile smartphone application, had been anticipating the strike and the corresponding surge in Monday morning ride requests.

Company spokeswoman Nairi Hourdajian said enough drivers are available to meet the demand, which is mostly coming from the East Bay.

The morning commute went relatively smoothly, with wait times for rides not longer than usual, she said.

Sidecar, another ridesharing service, had 50 percent more drivers out on the road compared to last Monday, and there was a 40 percent increase in rides as of 9:30 a.m., company officials said.

Sidecar spokeswoman Margaret Ryan said all drivers in the Bay Area network have been asked to give rides today to help commuters stranded by the strike.

In another effort to meet demand, Sidecar is offering additional driver trainings this week to boost the supply of available rides.

All available drivers for Lyft, a third ridesharing service, have also been asked to work, company officials said.

Taxi driver John Han, who works for Yellow Cab in San Francisco, said things seemed quieter than normal early this morning.

"The people that are normally here, they are not here because they are stuck in traffic" trying to get into San Francisco, he said.

He said it would be a different story if there were a Muni shutdown instead, and noted that the evening hours will likely be busier for local cab drivers as commuters head out of San Francisco.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency set up taxi stands at the Transbay Terminal and at the San Francisco Caltrain station at Fourth and King streets this morning.

For the evening commute, taxi stands will be set up at downtown hotels, according to Muni officials. Rides to the airport have been fairly steady today, Han said.


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