“There’s something big going on down here!” I yelled into the phone at the morning intern. Looking around City Hall I didn’t see any news vans. All I could really see is a sea of taxi cabs and all I could hear was….. the blaring sound of car horns. She hung up the phone as I emailed my supervisor to see what was going on. Halfway to the station she asks if I can get video. OF COURSE. Yes. I email back that I am turning around. After shooting B-Roll for about 20 minutes I get notice that J.R. Stone is on his way to me.
The taxi drivers were causing such a demonstration in regards to the new ride-sharing movement. Companies like Lyft, Sidecar, and UberX offer a service almost like a taxi, but cabbies want to be clear that this is an option that can leave riders in a sticky situation. I talked to many drivers who explained that when you get into a car with a ride-sharing service that they do not have the proper insurance to cover the riders safety. Taxi companies have business insurance and pay fees every year to insure that riders are safe in San Francisco taxi cabs. Ride-sharing services require that drivers have their own car insurance which uses a work around that they are not actually running a business. These drivers are just giving a ride from one person to another and the rider then ‘donates’ money to the driver.
Many riders feel that companies like Lyft offer a necessary service in a time where there are very few taxis in one of the US’ largest cities. When you are coming out of dinner or a club late at night especially on the weekend it can be difficult to find a cab. Many San Franciscans opt to walk or use a ride-sharing service that will arrive faster than a taxi. Some women feel that there is even an issue of danger while waiting for a cab to arrive.
Here is my package with help from J.R. Stone. The images shown above were taken by myself and published on kron.com.
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