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Walmart on Wheels: How Uber and Lyft are Throwing Taxi Drivers into Poverty
Using data reported through fare boxes and GPS systems in taxi cabs we have compiled income
distribution data of San Francisco taxi drivers. Our results show that the percentage of drivers
making less than minimum wage has doubled in one year, from 22 percent of drivers in August
2013 to 41 percent of drivers in August 2014. This decline in income occurred subsequent to the
legalization of UberX, Lyft, and other Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) by the
California Public Utility Commission in December 2013. San Francisco taxi drivers now
describe their city as being flooded with illegal taxis.
San Franciscos minimum wage, which voters raised to $15 an hour by 2018 will help pull
thousands of San Francisco workers out of poverty. But it will not directly help taxi drivers or
ride-for-hire drivers, as they are not legally employees and therefore not covered by minimum
wage laws.
Without a minimum wage requirement, the number of vehicles competing for a fixed number of
fares strongly determines taxi driver income. This number is regulated for taxis by the San
Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and is a vital lever held by government to ensure
that drivers can make a livable wage.
The introduction of Uber, Lyft, and other TNCs that compete with taxis but whose numbers are
not regulated, has effectively removed that lever from the hands of government and placed it into
the hands of private corporations.
While the unregulated number of TNC vehicles on the road competing with each other and taxis
should create precipitous declines in both taxi driver income and TNC driver income, we are
only able to document this for taxi drivers since TNCs are not required to divulge driver income
data. It is likely though that TNC driver income has fallen at an even faster rate than that of taxi
drivers because TNC drivers not only have to contend with increasing numbers of drivers
competing for fares but also decreasing fare rates. These decreasing fare rates are a result of the
price war between Uber, Lyft, and other TNCs that is unchecked by fare regulation or a
minimum wage for drivers.
Our report includes recommendations for uniform regulation of the industry by the San
Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and a proposal for how this can be done to ensure
that customers are well served with modern digital dispatch services accessible through smart
phones, and that taxi drivers are able to make a living wage for the hard work that they do.
An alternative recommendation is for the Board of Supervisors to pass legislation that requires
TNC systems not regulated by the SFMTA to pay drivers subscribed to their apps an hourly rate
equal to the living wage goal set by the SFMTA. The requirement of paying a living wage to

their drivers should be sufficient inducement for TNCs to limit the number of drivers and
restrain them from reducing their fares too low for their drivers to make a living wage.
Section I: Introduction
Much has been written about the harmful effects of Uber, Lyft, and other Transportation
Network Companies (TNCs) on passengers and the public. Their lack of regulation means that
their drivers are not insured or trained at the level of taxi drivers, their vehicles are not required
to be accessible to the disabled, their drivers are not required to accept all passengers, they do not
pay the same taxes and fees that are substantial sources of revenue for the city, their unlimited
number of vehicles, with unlike taxis- no environmental controls are the source of traffic
congestion and pollution, and they price gouge customers with surge pricing.
Much less has been written about harmful effects of TNCs on drivers. This report shows that
TNCs lower the income of taxi drivers so that an increasing percentage of them are making less
than the minimum wage. They do this by blanketing the streets with drivers who are competing
for customers and compelling them to accept rides at unsustainably low fare rates.
This is a crisis for drivers, but also for society at large, which must pick up the bill for drivers
more reliant on charitable and government services to get by. Our government and society has
the same obligation to address it as it does the other harmful effects of TNCs. Yet the
Californian Public Utilities Commission, which claims jurisdiction over TNCs, has not
addressed the issue of driver income in any of its rules or regulations. In its public hearing held a
hearing on September 18, 2014 about TNC issues, driver income was not one of the hearing
It is permissible for chartered cities such as San Francisco to pass local regulation that does not
conflict with state regulation. The CPUC, through its silence, has ceded the issue of driver
income. This report recommends that the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency
(SFMTA) use its jurisdiction over the industry to ensure good customer service and a livable
income for drivers.
Section II presents our results on taxi driver income, showing that more than two out of five taxi
drivers are now making less than minimum wage.
Section III presents examples of the failure of deregulation of fares and maximum number of
drivers from previous decades and shows the similarity between these earlier failures and what
Uber is doing today.
Section IV presents a history of the taxi industry in San Francisco, including how governmental
action removed the requirement that drivers be treated as employees and is therefore responsible
for the drivers who are making less than minimum wage today.
Section V includes our recommendations for how the SFMTA can regulate the industry to ensure
good customer service and livable wages for taxi drivers.
Section II: Driver Income

Taxi drivers are some of the most vulnerable workers in San Francisco. They do not have the
legal protections of employees, so they are not guaranteed the minimum wage, or time and half
after forty hours of work a week, or the right to collectively bargain.
Taxi drivers earn a living through the fares they collect for taxi trips minus the gate fees they pay
to taxi companies and the cost of fuel and other expenses. The gate fee includes the taxi rent, the
car insurance premium, and the costs for dispatch services from taxi companies. The SFMTA
regulates the fares that taxi drivers charge customers, the maximum gate fees that companies
charge drivers, and the number of active vehicles through its regulation of the medallion system.
A small taxi company of approximately 60 drivers provided us with trip data to compare
incomes in 2013 and 2014. These are the crucial comparison years because the California Public
Utility Commission legalized UberX and other TNCs in December 2013.
Our analysis of the trip data from this company shows that median hourly income per month fell
20% from August 2013 to August 2014 and that 41% of drivers were making less than minimum
wage in 2014, almost double the percentage, 22%, that were making less than minimum wage in
The following graph shows estimated hourly non-tipped income for August 2014. Cash tips are
not reported in Verifone data. Non-tipped income is the appropriate income to consider for a
minimum wage comparison since tips are not counted in the determination of San Franciscos
minimum wage.

Hourly Income August 2014











90% 100% 110%

There is a very broad distribution of income. Some drives made over $20 an hour while others
made nearly nothing or even took in less money than they paid in expenses. The median hourly
income was $12.81 an hour but because the distribution is so broad, a significant fraction of
drivers made much less than this. The minimum wage in 2014 was $10.74 an hour and more
than 2 out of 5 drivers, 41 percent, were making less than minimum wage in August 2014. More
than 3 out of 5 drivers, 63 percent, were making less than $15 an hour, which will be the
minimum wage in 2018.

The Real Situation is Even Worse

The non-tipped income reported here is overestimated in at least four ways. First, it assumes that
all drivers were driving a Prius with the EPA fuel efficiency of 50 miles per gallon. Second, it
assumes that the only expenses are the gate fee and fuel. Third, drivers were assumed to have
worked ten hours during their shift, while many drivers work more than this, and finally many
taxi drivers work more than 40 hours a week, and the wage for hours worked beyond 40 hours in
a week was not counted at time and half. The drivers we interviewed generally reported income
declines of 30 percent or greater.
Drivers Were Doing Better in 2013
The California Public Utilities Commission legalized UberX, Lyft and other TNCs in December
2013. Taxi drivers reported a flood of TNC vehicles on the road since the then and that their
incomes have fallen dramatically. The following graph, showing estimated hourly income for
August 2013, confirms what drivers tell us.

Hourly Income August 2013












In 2013, the median hourly income was $15.95 an hour. Around 1 out of 5 drivers, 22 percent,
were making less than minimum wage of $10.55 in August 2013. More than 2 out of 5 drivers,
45 percent, were making less than $15 an hour, which will be the minimum wage in 2018.
These figures show that taxi drivers were not incredibly well off in 2013, but they were doing
considerably better than they were a year later. From 2013 to 2014, median income fell 20
percent. The percentage of drivers whose income fell below the minimum wage almost doubled
from 22 percent to 41 percent.
How the Distribution was calculated
Verifone trip data from a small cab company was used to construct an income distribution. The
data for each driver included the fare for each trip, the distance of each trip, and starting and
ending time for each trip. Consecutive trips by the same driver that were less than six hours

apart were treated as part of the same shift. The total number of shifts was then used to
determine hours worked and total gate charges for the month. Verifone reported the paid
distance (distance traveling with a paying passenger) but not the total distance traveled which is
needed to determine fuel costs. An estimate for the total distance traveled by a driver was
determined by doubling the paid distance. Gas cost was then determined from the average cost
per gallon of regular gas in San Francisco from the Bureau of Labor Statistics ($3.909 in August
2014 and $3.833 in August 2013) and assuming a 50 miles per gallon fuel efficiency which is the
EPA fuel efficiency reported for a Toyota Prius. Drivers who worked 5 or fewer shifts in the
month were not included in the graphs or in the determination of median income and the
percentage of drivers making less than minimum wage. Including these drivers would have
decreased driver income.
Before 2013
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has provided us with taxi driver shift
revenue data for a sample of taxi drivers for the months of July through September from 2010
through 2013. The data shows that median hourly shift income increased from 2010 to 2012 but
fell 11.5 percent, from $11.48 in 2012,which was above the citys minimum wage, to $10.16 in
2013 which was below minimum wage.
This dramatic decline of income from above to below the minimum wage occurred as drivers
reported increasing numbers of ride-for-hire vehicles on the road between 2012 and 2013, such
as Uber Black, even before the California Public Utilities Commission opened the flood gates
when it legalized TNC services in December 2013. There is no official data about the number of
ride-for-hire vehicles competing with taxis however the SFTWA has kept information about the
number of such vehicles spotted on the roads by taxi drivers.
Revenue Increasing from 2010 to 2012. Declining from 2012 to 2013
The following table shows gross shift revenue provided to us for July through September in
years 2010 through 2013. The shift revenue data does not deduct expenses such as gates fees
and fuel.
Taxi driver shift revenue for July, August, and September provided by SFMTA
1st Percentile
$ 9.20
5th Percentile
10th Percentile
25th Percentile
50th Percentile
75th Percentile
90th Percentile
95th Percentile
99th Percentile

One can see from the data that revenue increased from 2010 through 2012 and then fell in 2013.
There was a fare increase in 2011.
The revenue decline was 5.8 percent from 2012 to 2013. Median revenue fell in 2013 below
2011 revenue, partially wiping out the effect of the fare increase.
Steep Decline in Income
The decline in driver income is larger than the decline in driver revenue since the gate fee is a
fixed cost that has remained at $104 per shift and many other expenses such as fuel have not
gone down with revenue. We have used the conservative expense estimate of $113.30 per shift
equal to the very conservative median expense per shift from the 2013 small company data
above (which included only the gate fee and fuel for a Prius making 50 miles to the gallon) to
produce our estimate for income per shift. Drivers report that their shift expenses including gate
fees, fuels, tolls, airport fees, etc are approximately $125 per shift.
The standard shift in San Francisco is ten hours, which is what we use to estimate hourly wages.
Some drivers keep their cabs out for twelve hours and all drivers are required to do cleaning and
other work on their cabs before and after their shift begins. This means that the actual hourly
wage per shift is less than the estimate given below.
Estimated income per hour based on revenue data provided by SFMTA
($10.63) ($10.41) ($10.02) ($10.11)
($9.40) ($7.81) ($4.77) ($5.11)
($7.80) ($4.50) ($0.62) ($1.21)
$7.40 $10.77 $11.48 $10.16
$13.49 $17.12 $17.17 $15.31
$18.87 $23.32 $22.75 $20.58
$22.41 $27.81 $26.32 $24.09
$31.00 $38.56 $35.20 $33.22
Our estimates show that 10 percent of driver shifts have resulted in negative non-tipped income
for drivers and that this has persisted for several years.

In 2012 the $11.48 median taxi driver shift income per hour exceeded San Franciscos 2012
minimum wage of $10.24. In 2013 the $10.16 median income per hour fell below San
Franciscos 2013 minimum wage of $10.55. The decline is 11.5 percent, about double the
revenue decline per shift. Drivers report that July through August are higher revenue months
than average so for many months in the year, in particular the winter months, the estimate shift
income per hour would be even less than this.
How the 2010 2013 gross revenue data was calculated
The Verifone data does not indicate which trips were associated with which shifts. The SFMTA
determined this approximately by associating consecutive trips that differ by less than three
hours with the same shift. Verifone also supplies a shift table for each driver but the SFMTA
considers it unreliable and did not use it. The median shift revenue is determined by ranking all
shifts from all drivers and is not the same as median driver revenue.
Comparison of 2013-2014 and 2010-2013 Data
The data provided to us by the small company is raw data and we were able to determine an
estimate of driver expenses based on distance traveled, rather than the constant flat rate we used
for the SFMTA data (which we drew from the small company data). Another difference between
the two data sets is that the SFMTA data is not income per driver per shift but income per shift.
A third difference is that for the small company data, we have removed drivers who drove 5 or
fewer shifts in the month. These difference increased the relative income of the small company
data over the SFMTA data.
What about Uber Driver Income?
If increasing the number of unregulated ride-for-hire vehicles on the road is responsible for the
decline of taxi driver income, it should also be responsible for a decline in TNC driver income.
As Uber and other TNCs do not provide trip data to the SFMTA we were unable to determine
the income distribution of TNC drivers.


Section III: The repeated failure of fare and vehicle number deregulation of the taxi
It is not surprising that TNC fare wars and unregulated number of drivers have been harmful to
drivers and passengers. It has happened three times before.
There have been four prominent waves of fare wars and unregulated taxicab numbers inthe US.
The first of these waves occurred during the Great Depression, when thousands of the

unemployed became taxi drivers, in under-regulated cities. Many cities responded through
regulation of fares and number of vehicles. The second wave occurred after WWII when
thousands of returning unemployed veterans turned to driving taxis, often in violation of the law.
The third wave occurred during the 1970s and 1980s, when, as part of the neo-liberal fad of
deregulating transportation industries, many cities deregulated their taxi industries with
disastrous results, only to reregulate in a few years. The fourth wave is the one we are currently
experiencing with TNCs injecting unlimited numbers of drivers and destructive fare wars into a
system that does not give its workers basic protections.
Each of the previous waves of driver and fare chaos ended the same way, with escalation of
prices, decrease in drivers earnings, unsafe conditions for consumers, aggressive solicitations,
and finally drivers exiting the industry. For example, during the Great Depression, New York
had over 30,000 taxi drivers, far more than passengers. Drivers had to work longer hours and
reduce their fares in order to compete for passengers and scrape together a living. The public
became concerned about the aggressiveness of drivers and the integrity of the vehicles. In 1937
the Mayor signed the Haas Act that limited the number of taxicabs on the streets. This model was
replicated across the country as cities either created a medallion system or franchise model.
Since then, taxi regulation has often served the interest of taxi companies and has been harmful
to drivers and passengers. But the way to fix this is better regulation not no regulation.
The entry of Uber and other TNCs into taxi markets eerily reproduces the 1970s and 1980s
failed experiments to deregulate taxicab fares and the maximum number of cars. These
experiments were ideologically driven deregulation of transportation industries, including air
travel, rail, trucking and taxis. Dr. Paul Dempsey has compiled the results of such taxi
deregulation for 21 major U.S. cities prior to 1983, showing[2]:
1. A significant increase in the number of active drivers competing for a fixed number of fares
2. An increase in highway congestion, energy consumption and environmental pollution;
3. An increase in rates;
4. A decline in driver income; and
5. A deterioration in service.
Most cities returned to a regulated market within a few years. For example, in 1979, Seattle
deregulated the taxi industry by lifting all caps and allowing taxis to set their own rates. The
presumption was that it would improve service and reduce fares. What actually happened was
that service declined and rates increased. In 1984, Seattle re-regulated the taxi industry as did
other cities that tried this experimental model. St. Louis deregulation resulted in a 35% increase
in fares, taxi companies raising their rent to drivers to offset lost revenue due to competition, and
a constant overturning of its drivers. In 2002, St. Louis also re-regulated its taxi industry. In the
1970s, other cities such as Sacramento, Phoenix, Kansas City, and many others deregulated
their taxi industries, only to return to regulating them for consumers protection, steady rates, and
to end aggressive solicitations.

Dempsey, Paul Stephen, " Taxi Industry Regulation, Deregulation & Regulation: The Paradox of Market Failure"
Transportation Law Journal, University of Denver, College of Law, Denver, Colorado, Volume 24, #1, Summer
1996, p.102.

In recent months several cities where taxi permits have been concentrated in the hands of a small
number of companies instead of drivers, including San Diego, Austin, and Montgomery County
Maryland have proposed increasing the number of permitted taxis. This deregulation is
supported by taxi driver unions provided that the new permits are assigned to individual drivers
instead of companies.
Section IV: San Franciscos Reform
San Francisco was not one of the cities that deregulated fares and the number of drivers in the
1970s and 1980s, however it did join in the trend of that time to allow companies to reclassify
drivers as independent contractors instead of employees, depriving drivers of a guaranteed
minimum wage and the fundamental human right to collectively bargain.
Before 1978, the employer-employee relationship was enshrined in the San Francisco Municipal
No person, firm, or corporation to whom a permit or license to operate a motor vehicle for hire
is issued pursuant to this article shall knowingly lease, rent, cause or permit a person other than
the permittee or a person standing in an employer-employee relationship to said permittee to
operate said motor vehicle for hire nor shall any person lease, rent, or operate a motor vehicle
for hire under a permit or license issued pursuant to this article other than the permittee or a
person standing in an employer-employee relationship to said employee. City and County of
San Francisco Police Code 1976, Part II Chapter VIII of the San Francisco Municipal Code.
Article 16 Section 1079.
At that time San Franciscos taxi drivers were members of the Teamsters union. They had a
contract that guaranteed them a percentage of each fare. The taxi companies were responsible
for car costs, maintenance, insurance, dispatch, and fuel. Drivers had health insurance and a
pension. They were guaranteed to make at least the minimum wage.
In 1978, referendum Proposition K-- was passed by San Francisco voters. It removed the
requirement for employer-employee relationship from the code. Through this means, almost
everything that taxi drivers had gained through years of collective action was stripped from
However, this deregulation was different from and not as bad as the deregulation in many other
cities. It did not deregulate the fares or number of vehicles. It also placed new restrictions on
medallions to prevent their concentration by companies and people who were not drivers.
Drivers were able to earn medallions after driving for a number of years. As a consequence, a
higher percentage of San Francisco drivers have their own medallions than drivers in many other
cities. The dilution of medallions throughout the driver populations instead of in the hands of a
handful of companies, meant that the taxi companies were less powerful than in many other
cities, and the drivers, through their organizing were able to keep the total number of medallions
below the level that would have impoverished them.
Uber gets a foothold

Taxi companies had been lobbying to increase the number of medallions for many years.
Drivers advocated instead for a universal dispatching system so that customers would have
access to the closest taxis and response times would be reduced. Companies resisted this as they
considered controlling their own dispatch system important for recruiting drivers.
In 1995 taxi drivers proposed Proposition-I which would have created a universal dispatch
system for San Francisco. The proposed was defeated by the taxi industry, which launched a
successful marketing campaign against it.
Smartphone apps for taxis were introduced in San Francisco in 2008 (Taxi Magic) and 2009
(Cabulous/Flywheel) but taxi companies were slow to adapt. Uber adopted the smartphone app
in 2010 but rather than using it for customers to hail taxis, Uber instead partnered with limousine
and town car drivers with TCP permits issued by the California Public Utilities Commission.
There is no mandated limit to the number of drivers with such licenses and Uber set the fare also
without regulation. In 2013 Uber, following the lead of Lyft and Sidecar, allowed drivers without
TCP licenses and with their own private cars to become drivers. They set the fares to often be
much less than taxi fares. In 2013 the California Public Utility Commission claimed jurisdiction
over Uber and other Transportation Network Companies, allowing them to operate legally.
What had been the responsibility and obligation of the government to regulate fares and the
number of drivers was handed over to private corporations by the CPUC. The taxi driver income
data in this report suggests that giving up control over the number of vehicles and the fares to
TNCs has decreased driver income for both taxi drivers and TNC drivers.
Section V: Recommendations
First Reform the Taxi Industry
Uber has been attempting to win public opinion so that it can continue to operate un- and underregulated by playing off the perception that the taxi industry is corrupt and not responsive to
customer needs. Uber also plays off the perception of regulation as a bureaucracy that has been
captured by the taxi industry, blocking innovation and serving the interest of the taxi company
owners instead of drivers or the public.
This critique has its truth. The best way to counter it is to reform the industry so that regulations
are fair and serve the interest of drivers and the public. A reformed system would address the
response time issue through a regulated universal dispatch system that all taxi drivers subscribe
to. This would guarantee that drivers have access to the closest taxis. The systems fees to
drivers and passengers would be regulated and there would be a dispute resolution procedure and
protections for drivers against unjust discipline. Some portion of the fees could go to a benefits
fund for drivers. The system could also be run as a driver owned co-op. Unlike Uber, the
system could accommodate people without smart phones by allowing accessthrough regular
phones, like the company operated systems. Flywheel is already operating a smartphone taxi
dispatch app in San Francisco that many taxi drivers use and could be the contractor for this
universal system.

Another reform is a universal lease agreement written into the code and formal representation of
the drivers on a driver-company committee that determines what the agreement should be. The
system should take driver income and wellbeing into account when regulating fares, gate fees,
and medallions. It should also take into account traffic congestion, environmental impact, and
passenger safety.
Bringing TNCs under control
Reforming the taxi system is only the first step. Our second recommendation is placing TNCs
under the same reformed high road framework. Reforming taxi regulations to be beneficial to
drivers and the public is both the best counter to Ubers critique of the system, and the best
reason to place Uber and the other TNCs under it.
We also have an alternative recommendation for regulating TNCs. The reason that the
regulation of fares, rates, and number of vehicles is so essential for driver wellbeing is that
drivers are not employees and do not have the employee protections of minimum wage and
collective bargaining rights. An alternative to placing TNCs under SFMTA jurisdiction is to
reintroduce the provisions of the San Francisco Municipal Code before 1978 for TNCs and
require that the relationship between dispatch system and driver be one of employer and
employee. It is also possible to legislate a minimum wage for TNC drivers without making them
employees. We know that Uber is capable of doing this. As a promotion it has periodically
promised a guaranteed income for the first month provided that drivers are active on the app for
40 hours a week and take over 90% of the ride requests. If the driver meets these conditions and
their income during the month is less than the guaranteed minimum, Uber pays the driver the
remainder. These or similar conditions can be made into law.
Uber is notorious for openly violating the law and publicly stating it will pay the penalties of
drivers who are ticketed or penalized. Such lawlessness is harmful to the foundation of our
society and should not be countenanced. Our final recommendation is the imposition of severe
criminal penalties for the CEOs of companies that violate the law.

Summary of Recommendations

The SFMTA taxi code should be reformed to provide excellent customer service through
a uniform digital dispatch system, and a livable wage and voice for taxi drivers.
The SFMTA should have jurisdiction over all ride-for-hire services in San Francisco and
should uniformly regulate them.
The SFMTA should conduct annual analysis of the income distribution of taxi and TNC
drivers for public release.
As an alternative to uniform regulation, San Francisco Board of Supervisors should pass
legislation requiring that TNCs and other app companies not regulated by the SFMTA
must hire drivers as employees and pay them a living wage..
There should besignificant penalties for companies violating the law.

Taxi Driver Profiles To Be Placed along the sides of the report.
We interviewed taxi drivers at the SFO airport and taxi company garages. Every driver we
spoke with reported a large income drop in the past year and correlated this with the increase of
TNC vehicles. Below are some of their stories.
[Recommendation: only bold passages to be used in report, as these should be short statements
from each driver to go along with their picture along the sides of the report.]

My name is Austin Peterson. I drive for Yellow. I have been driving a cab for 26 years. I
was only going to do it for a while but fell in love with it. Every day is different, the strategy, the
energy. I always realized I was going to make less money than other jobs but I liked the freedom
it gave me to take time off and travel, my passion. I would work 8-10 months a year and be gone
to Mexico and other places. Uber has changed all that. Last year my income was down 30%.
Its hard for me to get time off because the cab companies cant find anyone to take my shift.
Uber has made the quality of driving lower. There are more aggressive drivers now. Its like
there is a different set of standards now. This eats at me. Because Uber has cut my income I
decided to move into a camper to weather the Uber storm.

My name is Karimi Afmad. I am from Afghanistan. I drive for City Wide. I started driving
a cab in 1998. I have now bought a medallion for $250,000. Every day I worry about losing the
medallions value. Uber took business away from the city and away from the airport. My
income is down 35%. Last night I made $200 but after paying $16 for gas and $90 for gate and
the bridge I was left with less than $100. I make less than minimum wage. Plus the cost of
getting back and forth to work. We need to fight Uber. I joined the union to makes a

I am Barkoki Kammeet. I came to this country in 1972 from Tunisia. In Tunisia, America
was a land of promise and mystery. Thats is why I came here. I started driving a cab in
1987. I worked many years as a taxi driver before earning my medallion. I have a wife and
three children. One is an Iraq veteran. I like driving a cab because you dont have to answer
to a boss and I like people. Im a good taxi driver because I know the history of San
Francisco. Uber has been very bad for me. I used to make $20 an hour. Now I make $10.

My name is Antonio Paiva. I am from Brazil. I have been driving cab for eight years. I
used to work 5 days a week. The past year and a half I have had to work seven days and
Im still not making what I did when I worked 5. We have to have a union. Without a union
we cant do anything.

I am Pong Yokakul. I have been driving for almost three years for Luxor. When I started, I
worked 10 hours a day 4 days a week. I was very happy. For the past six months I work
10 hours 6 days a week sometimes 7. I have a daughter to take care of. I dont get to see
her now. I used to make $200 a day. Now I make $100 dollars a day. Sometimes $90. I
used to exercise. Now I have no time to exercise. I have no energy. Im 62 years old. I
have no choice to cut down hours. I need the income. I want to drive for 4 more years. Then I
will move back to Thailand. I cant afford to live here.

My name is Lenny Singh. I driver for Arrow. I have been driving a cab for 15 years. For
three years I drove in New York City. Driving taxi is a hard job but its what I know how to
do. Uber has made my job a lot harder. It used to be you would wait for one hour at the
airport now we wait up to three hours. I used to make a $100 a day after I paid my gate
and gas now sometimes because of Uber I cant make $75. I have two kids its hard to
survive. I have to drive from Howard CA and spend money on gas plus $4.00 in tolls. Uber has
to stop like they did in New York. How can we survive with illegal cabs? I love the union. It is
the same union in New York City. We need a union to stop Uber. Without a union we will lose.

I am Rajpal Singh. I drive for Arrow Checker. I have driven a cab for 4 years. The
customers are good people. I get happiness with this work. I drive six days a week. I drive
for my son who owns the medallion. We all live together in the same house. He has one son.
Uber has brought the whole family income down. It has cut our income in half. I used to
make $300 $400 a day gross. Now its $150 - $200 a day gross. When I am at the hotel
waiting, sometimes for an hour, I see Uber cars pickup customers. I worry about the future.
Maybe I have to go to other work.

I am Keith Raskin. I driver for Veterans Cab. I have been driving a cab for 36 and a half
years. I like driving a taxi. I am addicted. It keeps me moving. I like being self-employed. I
like people. It used to be easy making a living. Now its hard. The money was good. You
start to get used to earning less. I adapted to make less money. 15 to 20 years ago I used to
make $200 dollars a shift. Today I make $200 a shift. But 20 years ago I was making $28 on a
trip to the airport. Now its $50 dollars a trip. I have a Prop-K medallion1 I got the medallion in
1999. Then there was no problem getting drivers. Now I have a hard time getting drivers. I
usually loose one to three shifts a week. I do better than most. I work 10 hours a day 5 days a
week. If I lose my newest driver I will have no one to replace him. A few years ago I started
driving Uber Black. It was amazing. I was making a lot of money. I was making 400 to 1000
dollars a shift. Then Uber introduced UberX and Uber Black tanked. Knowing what I know
now, I should have driven a bus. I would have a pension.
[Did not want picture taken]
My name is Aboelellait Alhrsom. I came to this country 19 years ago from Palestine, I have
been driving cab 17 years. I used to work 8 or 9 hours a day 5 days a week. Lately I work
13 or 14 hours a day 7 days a week. I made better money then than now. I dont see my
family anymore. No days off. No more vacations. Rent is expensive. Food is expensive. It
cant go on this way.

Prop-K medallion: The discontinued SF program in which non-transferable medallions were issued to working
drivers. The medallion was returned to the city when the holder stopped driving and reissued to another driver for
the cost of the application fee. Drivers became eligible for medallions after driving for many years. Common
practice was for Medallion holders to drive half the shifts and hire drivers for the other half.