San Francisco has the third worst traffic in the country, and the Bay Area at large has seen a 70 percent increase over the past six years. As with many things in life, the factors behind this are likely complicated and multifaceted, but that hasn't stopped officials with the SFMTA from laying the blame on one culprit in particular: The ride-hail industry.
According to a state regulatory filling submitted last week to the California Public Utilities Commission on behalf of the SFMTA, drivers with Lyft and Uber are a significant factor in making San Francisco's roads so congested. "For example, in San Francisco alone an estimated number of 45,000 Uber and Lyft drivers now operate in the City," the document reads. "This number far surpasses the estimated 1,800 taxis operating in San Francisco."
That number comes from the SF Treasure's Office, and at least partially explains why it seems like Ubers and Lyfts are everywhere — because they pretty much are. And just in case the conclusion to be drawn from this is unclear, SFMTA wants you to know that "Much of the increase San Francisco has experienced in vehicular traffic can be attributed to the huge increase in the number of TNC [Transportation Network Companies like Uber and Lyft] vehicles operating on city streets."
That's a charge the average San Franciscan is likely to agree with. "I believe that's very true," a commuter by the name of Brandon told ABC 7. "There's a lot of drivers on the road and most of them don't know how to drive. I see a lot of them breaking the law, making illegal U-turns, unsafe just to make a quick extra buck."
What, if anything, is to be done about this? Unsurprisingly, the agency suggests additional regulations. “I think there’s a role for local enforcement and local regulation,” Kate Toran, who is in charge of taxi services at the SFMTA, told the Examiner. “The impacts happen locally. It would make sense to have an enforcement mechanism locally.”
We're sure Uber and Lyft will be more than happy to comply with any and all additional regulations.
Related: Early Bird Gets The Smog: Traffic Now Worst On Bay Bridge Between 5 And 6 AM