Uber does not operate any taxi cabs in San Francisco. Today, a statement issued by the private car service addressed concerns by some riders who have seen taxis bearing the name “UBER TAXI” on the side of the vehicle. The company is informing customers that these are not official Uber cars — in fact, its policy states that it doesn’t own or operate any vehicles.
According to Matt Hearns, Uber’s San Francisco community manager, drivers that operate on its taxi system are licensed independently by the San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency (SFMTA) and works with an “established taxi company”. He says that Uber has been in touch with the drivers of these “UBER TAXIS” because they are apparently causing confusion among its users. Hearns emphasizes that these vehicles “have no relationship” to Uber.
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This is probably one more thing that Uber needs on its plate right now. After all, it’s already facing a lawsuit filed last November from San Francisco taxi drivers who have alleged unfair competition. In addition, some drivers of those highly recognizable black towncars have also been trying to form a “union” over allegedly unfair practices.
Whether this is an issue of safety or brand protection is probably not up for debate — most likely Uber is concerned about both of them. Nevertheless, if you’re in San Francisco and hail an Uber Taxi, it’s best to make sure your safety comes first. If it seems sketchy, there’s always other options, like the UBERx, the towncar, SUV, or another service like Lyft or Sidecar.
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