Recently there was a news story that aired on NBC Bay Area that mischaracterized my statements about the fight on the streets between TNC drivers and cabbies. I do not condone or encourage violence against anyone, especially the drivers of Lyft, Sidecar or UberX. They are operating in a segment of transportation for hire reserved for regulated taxis and when you mess with someone’s lively hood people can get hurt. The problems with the safety claims of companies like Lyft are their lack of proper safety training and their terms of service that effectively require all users to indemnify Lyft, Sidecar or Uber from anything that may happen in the course of a ride “up to and including death” (Sidecar TOS).
This fight between cabbies that have been doing their jobs for years following the rules, not being jerks and the 10% of the industry that is contributing to the image of bad service has been going on for years. For them to be punished by a startup company that thinks that the laws do not apply to them or that they can change the laws for their profit at the expense of the safety of the city as a whole, because of the actions of a small portion of the taxi industry is completely despicable.
I feel very strongly that although it hasn’t gotten there yet I am very concerned that violence could erupt as more and more livelihoods are threatened. I sincerely hope that this does not happen and I am actively encouraging taxi drivers to not approach or make contact with TNC drivers and definitely not get into any altercations. I am actively encouraging drivers to just document what they are seeing as it is clear that the TNC companies are specifically and unfairly targeting the taxi business.
If anyone would like to assist in the data collection please contact me for the url to submit reports to.