SF MTA Getting Smarter with Taxis?

Ben Shore's picture

It seems that the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has been getting a bit of a bad rap for a while now, so I was quite pleased to see this story about working to get more taxis on San Francisco streets at the times that we need them most. The MTA has asked the "Taxi Advisory Council to prepare a test program that would put more taxis on the streets during the busiest times of the week." This is the kind of no-brainer, common sense policy that could really improve the daily lives of many San Franciscans. Like many of us, I've stood outside...in the rain...for 15 minutes, half hour, 45 minutes waiting for cabs that already have people in them or have their lights off or just simply don't stop. It just makes no sense to have the same amount of cabs on the streets at 2:00pm on a Tuesday as 9:00pm on a Friday, or even at 6:00pm on any given week night when people are getting off work. I hope to see this plan be as successful in practice as it sounds in theory.

Why not expand innovative taxi programs?

Why don't taxis go beyond increasing the amount of taxis, like the MTA suggests, to putting out new taxi programs that would allow taxi drivers to get certain niches of riders and serve straight-shot-down-Market riders and late night partiers who are already really frustrated with MUNI and BART?

In some other cities, there are dollar programs for people who are seeking to just get down a large street like Market in a hurry. Taxis are already going that way much of the time and it would be really helpful for people who want to get from downtown to the Castro/Mission.

Also, during some holidays taxis have been having sponsored nights to take people back to the East Bay or back home in the City on specific holidays. I don't think there needs to be sponsored nights all the time, but some type of reliable taxi van pow wow in critical social areas around the city on going out nights I think would be really helpful for people to get back home after MUNI goes to OWL times and BART turns back into a pumpkin at midnight.

dean783's picture

Why not use an application on your phone to get a taxi?

I think we should investigate other ways, like a centralized dispatch first. I have noticed a growing interest in taxi mojo which is a smart phone application that allows San Francisco residents to hail a cab with their own phone as opposed to calling up the dispatchers and praying they get a cab.
I found it while browsing the web. http://www.taximojo.com

Paid for by Phil Ting for Assembly 2012. FPPC ID# 1343137