Why I stopped giving a shit (and getting mad) about lyft and sidecar….

The CPUC recently made a quite silly ruling that would effectively legitimize these illegal taxi services that have been masquerading as “ridesharing”.  This ruling basically laid it out that they are not “ridesharing” and are for hire/for profit transportation services.  Exactly what they claimed throughout the whole rulemaking proceedings that they were and were not, respectively.  The ruling, while also essentially overstepping the regulatory purview of the CPUC, was a step in the right direction policy wise but lacked the enforcement teeth that something like this really needs and shunts much of the responsibility back on to the TNC companies themselves.  The liability insurance requirements and requests of the DMV will most likely be the biggest stumbling blocks for these TNC companies and their drivers.  The DMV is not known to move quickly when changing motor vehicle law is concerned and the insurance industry has stated time and again that they are not interested in helping these services to operate or take on any liability where a personal vehicle is being used for commercial use.  There also are a number of pretty slamming lawsuits coming down the line that will likely be bringing legal injunctions against the TNCs, the CPUC and possibly even forcing removal of the apps from the app stores.   To make matters more even more difficult for them I have started a riotously successful license plate collection effort by cab drivers across the city providing the insurance companies with the intel about who is out there and how often.  This collection effort is already helping to get insurance policies called into question and cancelled.  When you couple this with the social media blabbering of the drivers in question, they are effectively digging their own graves with shovels of tweets, hashtags and blog posts about their still illegal activities and insurance fraud. 


Since this ruling and knowing all of the above I have been more at ease when on the road and out in public.  When I see these dipshits operating my blood no longer boils (as much).  I laugh and shake my head as I calmly take down the license plate and give the driver a middle finger and a smile.  This could be largely because I know that I am on the right side of the law or that its only a matter of time before something really bad happens, exposing these companies to be the frauds that we know them to be.  Either way, when someone asks me about them now I just laugh and say: “What idiot would want to ride with an uninsured flunkie that lacks even the most basic sense of direction and rules of the road to safely navigate the streets of a major city?” 


The public is beginning to agree with me more and more every day.  It’s not from my efforts to publicly shame the assholes running the companies or blast their drivers and passengers on social media with evidence to the bullshit of their PR campaigns.  The public is realizing that these idiots are not worth giving their money too when they can get properly insured, experienced and trained drivers in two clicks and under 10 minutes with Flywheel and UberTaxi.  Drivers who actually know where they are and where they’re going, aren’t trying to pick up on them, get a job from them or touch them.  The customers are telling me that now that they know about Flywheel they are back to real cabs because they don’t need to give directions, they don’t worry about the driver going the wrong way up a one way street, they don’t get charged “surge” pricing when it gets busy and above all else the cab actually shows up, unlike when you call dispatch or use Taxi Magic.


So now when someone asks, I don’t get mad.  I laugh.  These gypsy cab services are likely going to be gone in a year or so and the fad will have died off.   The people with actual functioning brain cells and critical thinking skills know that as long as they can get a legal cab or limo without trouble or a long wait they have no use for services like these.  I’m not saying the taxi industry hasn’t suffered, will or won’t continue to suffer, or doesn’t have its own problems by any means.  But the users of these services and the drivers providing the car will steadily decline in quality, brainpower and intentions leading to the inevitable.  Someone will get killed, raped or the class action labor violation lawsuits will take them down hard.   John Zimmer with his shit eating grin and Sunil Paul with his bald head and scowl can give me all the smug looks they want when they see me in public (better dressed than they are) but I know who is really on the winning end of the stick and that makes me smile.  The insurance industry that hates them and the biggest VCs betting on Uber all have a lot more money, legal power and back door dealing capability than a dumb pink mustache does.  


6 thoughts on “Why I stopped giving a shit (and getting mad) about lyft and sidecar….

  1. The title of your ‘article’ doesn’t support the actual article at all.

    You are still a pissed off, threatened, jealousy piece of crap, terrified if the competition.

    You need to learn to let go.
    ‘Letting go,’ the title of your next article?

    1. Breaking the law is breaking the law. I am not “terrified” by anything, least of all a bunch of racist, classist, techie douchebags who think that they are above the law…. These services, namely Lyft and Sidecar, will not be long for this world at least in their current incarnations. All the pontificating about safety and competition is completely stupid considering the lack of permanent markings, no real oversight, and high potential for insurance fraud.

  2. I understand your frustration regarding regulations. But there are more important things to worry about than this shit. Stop wasting your precious energy on this matter. Seriously it is not harming anyone except maybe the taxi drivers. Who I might say, are the most disrespectful, rude assholes of the road. They drive like maniacs and don’t follow the rules of the road. I always felt so uncomfortable when riding in a yellow taxi, regarding of what company it is. The companies like Lyft are only trying to help make the road a safer place. Bring people together and share experiences. Make it fun. Id rather get into a cab knowing I will most likely have a cool experience then get into a cab where I will have strange men who are usually from another country, stare at me and ask me inappropriate questions. Step outside the box man. If we don’t start trying new things in life then the world will stay the same boring fxxk up place.

    Life is too short, go and live and care about things that truly matter.

    1. Sounds like you drank the pink kool aid.
      To summarize what you said…. Cabbies are dirty immigrants that don’t deserve to make a living because some dummy is provides a “better” service because he drives for Lyft….

      Added congestion and added pollution by thousands of questionably insured uninspected vehicles driven by amateurs unfamiliar with the streets make it “safer” for everyone?

      Sorry dude, you are flat wrong. I care about this stuff because it truly matters if someone who follows the rules can’t feed their family because a big corporation wants to farm their job out to dummies that don’t know the law and will charge less, undercutting the legitimate business in the name of corporate greed.

      If you are for the 99% you would stand up for cabbies too. Lyft and Uber feed only the 1%.

  3. I’d be more inclined to support the taxi drivers if, in my 12 years of living in San Francisco, I had actually had more than just 2 pleasant experiences in taxi cabs here—the rest were downright awful, running the gamut from drivers using two different cell phones at the same time to have multiple conversations to a driver swerving in heavy traffic down Fell Street because he was nodding off. And those were the taxis I was actually able to ride! I’ve nearly missed flights at SFO because pre-arranged calls to taxi services (for early morning flights, even) didn’t seem to warrant an actual taxi coming to pick me up… and it’s now worse that I moved up to Twin Peaks. Trying to get a taxi to come up here is an exercise in futility. NEVER has an actual taxi come up here! (and that, most of all, is why I use Sidecar and UberX over Taxis – the car *will* come to pick me up here, and I *know* that the car is *actually* coming (not some mystery as to whether *anything* at all is happening as a result of my call to a Taxi Dispatcher).

    So I’d normally be inclined to side with the everyday, real, 99%’er Taxi driver… and I definitely don’t think that these ride “sharing” services are all perfect and my best friend… (I think their smug astroturf-encouraging PR is almost as obnoxious as the gung-ho tools that go along with it), but the Taxi industry has just abused the public for far too long in San Francisco—and smugly gotten away with it—for me to overlook this. Your industry needs a much-needed enema… go with the flow.

    1. Right on dude. Decent comment. As a dispatcher and driver I can tell you there is sooooo much more going on than you could ever presume to know, but you are damn right about the industry needing an enema. Uber and the like have done that, now they need to follow the law or get fucked. Meanwhile try Flywheel, it was here before uber and gives you all the guarantees, convenience, information, communication, and avenues for feedback you deserve as a rider. Try it, I guarantee you will like it.

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