BREAKING: Uber/Lyft Bankrupted San Francisco’s Yellow Cab Taxis

by Eric

In the past, we used to hail a taxi cab by either waving our hands while standing on the side of a street, or by calling a local telephone number that (sometimes) sent out a ride.  Now, a substantial number of Americans get their rides by simply looking at their smartphone and ordering an Uber/Lyft ride.  Yesterday, we saw the first major consequence of the incredible surge in the use of ridesharing technology, rather than the yellow taxis we have been accustomed to.


In San Francisco, California, the largest taxi company is in the process of filing for bankruptcy, citing competition from Uber and Lyft.  Perhaps not surprisingly, Uber was founded and is currently headquartered in San Francisco.  According to reports by the San Francisco Examiner, Yellow Cab Co-Op is preparing to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to a letter to shareholders that the Examiner obtained.


The letter was dated December 10, 2015 and Yellow Cab Co-Op president Pamela Martinez indicates:

We are in a midst of serious financial setbacks.  Some are due to business challenges beyond our control and others are of our own making. Today we are faced with fiscal obligations that far exceed expected income.

The letter goes on to suggest that the documents for bankruptcy were being prepared, and the process would move forward “within a month.”

In a clear swipe against ridesharing companies, Pamela Martinez writes:

We must get more paid shifts and more drivers paying them.  This our principle source of our income.  For that to happen we need to have not just more drivers, but more drivers who are happy to be behind the wheel of a Yellow cab because we offer the best opportunity to make a living in a taxi.

Both Uber and Lyft have taken dramatic steps in order to recruit drivers, often handing out large bonuses to new drivers of over $500.

We have seen efforts from the taxi industry to introduce technology to their offerings, with taxi companies in New York City finally introducing app-based ordering in 2015.  However, it seems as though it may be a little too late as ridesharing has firmly entrenched itself into our daily lives, replacing the dependence on taxis.

What are your thoughts on the possibility that we may not see taxis in some major cities in the future?


The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


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Jeff January 7, 2016 - 7:33 am

Taxis will go the way of the pay phone if they don’t adapt. Their monopoly is over. No one wants to overpay for a ride just because it’s a taxi. This is where Uber and Lyft will win out v taxis.

Eric January 7, 2016 - 8:24 am

Jeff –

It seems like some taxi companies are making the effort to adapt by adding a mobile ordering system.

Jeff January 7, 2016 - 8:09 pm

That may be so but the pricing of a cab v Uber or Lyft is much different. Cabs are always more money unless you get Uber during a peak rate period. Uber has changed the game for me I’m not paying extra to ride in a cab.

William January 7, 2016 - 8:21 am

Taxi companies deserve to die. I’ve had maybe one nice cabbie in the last few years, and they almost always try to rip me off. The big taxi companies have acted like borderline-criminal organizations for years, and are finally reaping what they have sown.

Good riddance.

Eric January 7, 2016 - 8:27 am

William –

What cities have you taken taxis in where you have had some tough experiences?

mike murphy January 7, 2016 - 8:53 am

taxi mafia ( permit re- sellers) can’t compete

Bill S January 7, 2016 - 9:09 am

I just saw a story about this on the local news last night. It seems like Uber and Lyft played a role in this, the real issue was that they just lost an $8 million dollar lawsuit. That stemmed from an accident that seriously injured a passenger. One interesting point was that if the same thing happened to an Uber driver, the suit would have been against the Uber drivers insurance, and not Uber itself. Interesting story though. Times are changing…

Eric January 7, 2016 - 9:19 am

Bill S –

Do you have a link to the news story? I would love to read more about it.

Adam January 7, 2016 - 3:01 pm

Good riddance. As an SF native I refuse to use the cabs. Cabbies here are poor drivers, at best, and overtly offensive and aggressive drivers at worst. As a fellow driver in the city, the sheer volume of banged and beaten yellow Ford explorers is a testament to the shoddy skills and poor attitudes of the drivers.

Plus, as another commenter mentioned, I’ve never – in recent or distant memory – had a cabbie I’d consider “friendly”. At best, they’ll ignore me alone and yammer away on their mobile phone, completely distracted from actually driving. They also HATE using the credit card machine. I’m not sure if it’s a tax issue or if they’re just lazy. Either way, I’ve had only a handful of cab drivers that didn’t either roll their eyes when I pull out a credit card or outright lie and say it was broken, but finally relent when I told them I had no cash, and that they advertise credit cards, so they should accept them at all times.

Finally, the cabs are gross. They’re filthy inside and out, and there appears to be little-to-no cleanliness standards enforcement for Yellow Cab. And you can’t rate the cabs or their drivers, either. So the poor hygiene of the driver, or the poor condition of the car, goes unchanged.

The fact that they’re technologically behind the power curve is the least of Yellow Cab’s issues. Getting a mobile app was just a Band-Aid on a sucking chest wound that is the taxi industry for the last several years.

George January 7, 2016 - 6:32 pm

Not sure how this qualifies as “breaking” news


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