In Reversal, Some Drivers Ditching Uber And Lyft For Cabs

by Jon Brooks, KQED

Taxi on Lombard Street

Romain Fliedel / Wikimedia

As you will quickly discover if you ask your cab driver what he or she thinks about Uber and Lyft, those who work in the taxi industry consider the ride-service companies to be four-letter words of another order.

Still, over the past few years, San Francisco taxi companies have had trouble filling their shifts. That’s because drivers have jumped ship to work for the upstarts, and new drivers entering the profession have opted for the ride services as well.

The San Francisco Examiner reported on Wednesday that Yellow Cab, the largest taxi company in the city, will soon file for bankruptcy in order to restructure its business.

“On background, multiple sources told the Examiner that cab companies are having a tough time hiring competent drivers and may be hiring drivers with spotty driving records,” the paper said.

Yet, there are other drivers who have taken the opposite route, going from Uber and Lyft to driving a cab.

Mickey Kelley operates the San Francisco Taxi School, which offers prospective cab drivers the courses they must take to get licensed. Classes range from five to 15 students each week. He estimates that from one-third to one-half of his students over the last six months have been former Uber and Lyft drivers.

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