Which cab company/companies did you call? Yellow? Luxor? DeSoto? Then yeah, I can see how you would have a problem. I drive for National, which includes Veterans Cab and the former Arrow Checker. All three of these companies have prided themselves on providing excellent radio service, driving past street hails to pick up customers who called for a taxi. Why? To be better than Yellow, Luxor and DeSoto, since competition is very tight in the cab business.
To this day, companies like National and Citywide take care of their customers. There are obviously going to be unforeseen circumstances, but very rarely does a caller not get picked up.
And if you called National and reserved an airport ride, I’d eat a shoe if that order wasn’t taken care of, since airports are the most coveted of rides. But if you’re calling Yellow, as most people do, you’re dealing with the WORST cab company in SF. There’s a reason they’ve had to declare bankruptcy: running a bad business.
I’m not disagreeing with you that cabs in SF have historically provided lousy service, but there are and have always been good cab companies that people don’t know about because they only rely on the big companies. As I point out in this article, being a city dweller requires being savvy. And getting a cab when you need one is part of that process.
This “baby with the bathwater” attitude you’re embracing is disheartening in a city like San Francisco. By utilizing Uber and Lyft, you’re disenfranchising real San Franciscans. Like a veteran cab driver I work with named John, who was born in Palo Alto and lived in SF since the 1960s. The other night he told me he’s not sure how he will survive in the city much longer with Uber and Lyft taking all the business away from cabs. Where will he go if he can’t pay his rent doing the only job he’s ever known? To the streets with all the other people who can’t hang on? And he’s not the only one. I can go on and on profiling honest, hard-working cab drivers who never turned down a fare to the avenues and did everything they could to provide good service and now they are being punished because of the bad apples. Those are the stakes at play here.
You might want to consider what side of justice you want to be on. Do you want good people, true San Franciscans, to live in the streets so you can support companies with predatory business practices and no regard for their workers? Because that’s what you’re doing. It’s not just a ride. It’s an act of promoting tyranny.