Taxi Drivers Are Making A Resurgence In San Francisco Despite Uber's Success


Call it the Uber Effect.

That's how the Wall Street Journal is describing a recent resurgence of taxi cabs in San Francisco, despite Uber's wild growth and success in the city.

The publication is reporting that nearly 1,000 people applied for the A-card license required to drive a taxi in San Francisco for the fiscal year ending in 2015, marking the highest amount than any other year on record.

According to the Journal, San Francisco's taxis wisely waited for the Uber explosion to take place three years ago, waiting in the wings to revive the city's street with more of its yellow cabs. During that time, the number of A-card applications and medallion permits required to operate taxis dipped dramatically.

However, they've made a revival over the past two years, according to numbers from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, as reported by the Journal. Medallion sales skyrocketed in 2013, despite ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft being wildly popular in the city.

So, how could this be explained?

Well, the Journal reports that the SFMTA waived its $255 application fee for A-card permits in 2013. Every dollar counts, right?

In addition, taxi drivers can actually make more per hour driving a cab than an Uber car, so ride-hailing services like it and Lyft are actually helping the yellow cab business thrive. 

"There is a stigma attached to taxi cab driving," Hansu Kim, owner of the Flywheel taxi fleet, told the Journal. "But Uber and Lyft have created a lot more people who would now consider driving as a way to make money."

That being said, cab drivers are still pulling in 25 percent less in San Francisco since Uber touched down in the city, but Kim says their incomes have started to stabilize. Kim said an experienced cab driver could make between $150 and $300 in profit daily compared to an Uber driver's $19.04 per hour, which doesn't include the maintenance it takes to keep their car on the road.

If there was any city whose cab drivers were going to figure out how to co-exist with Uber, it was going to be San Francisco, right?

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