We all know that the taxi situation sucks in San Francisco mostly because you can't find one the minute it starts raining, or if it's a holiday, or if it's 7 p.m. on a Friday. But the Bay Citizen just analyzed a year's worth of complaints called into the city's 311 line by taxi passengers, and it just makes us love Uber all that much more.
In total there were 1,733 complaints between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012, a 13% uptick over the previous twelve months. These complaints ranged from the mundane, everyday events we're all used to (drivers smoking cigarettes or pot in the car, drivers talking on cell phones or texting while driving, drivers refusing to take credit cards, drivers refusing to take people to the Sunset or the Richmond) to downright threatening situations like drivers falling asleep behind the wheel, and one driver who hit on a female passenger and then called her at work the next day using information he got off her credit card.
Also, an anonymous driver called in a tip that National Cab had a problem with bed bugs in its cabs, and drivers were regularly getting bitten. An inspector only ever found one dead bed bug, and the company insists that it fully dealt with the problem and fumigated its vehicles the inspector found, though, that they only used an over-the-counter product and advised that they hire a professional.
What's more is that some of the cab companies claim that no one had even informed them of the complaints lodged against them, and thus it would seem the taxi commission isn't really doing its job.
The commission is allegedly working on a Taxi Riders' Bill of Rights, like one that's posted in cabs in New York, which would guarantee riders a clean, smokeless cab with a driver who was not on a cell phone. We'll believe it when we see it.
Previously: S.F. Cab Drivers Take Uber To Court