Photo: A meeting of the San Francisco Taxi Commission in July 2006

Regulation of Taxicabs

Including a section of links to taxi regulators, industry groups and similar sites.

2014 documents

In June 2014 the California Public Utilities Commission continued its attempt to regulate TNC "rideshares" by issuing Proposed Modifications which would have strengthened its previous insurance requirements. However the Proposed Modifications were weakened substantially in early July prior to a hearing, and then were not acted upon. The CPUC may revisit TNC insurance in August 2014. Before the July revisions, various parties to the proceeding filed comments and reply comments regarding TNC insurance.

The documents will eventually appear in their official formats under the Documents tab on the CPUC Proceeding Page.

The California Public Utilities Commission issued a Request for Comments on Proposed Modifications to its TNC insurance requirements and other changes on March 25, 2014. Among the responses delivered to the Proceeding Service List in early April are the Initial Comments of:

The documents along with expected Response Comments will eventually appear in their official formats under the Documents tab on the CPUC Proceeding Page.

2013 documents

Internet Advocacy ’Uber’ Alles: What Uber-Fans Accomplished in Boston & What It Means for Urban Democracy & Local Government. This insightful paper by Harvard law school student Molly Cohen is must-read for taxi industry participants who face organized social media campaigns by wealthy elites. Ms. Cohen presented her views at the October 2013 TLPA conference in Boston.

A night scene of a black town car and a yellow taxicab next to each other on a rain soaked street
- Digiart2001 | jason.kuffer | Flickr 2013

For-hire vehicles include limousines and taxicabs. Regulations for each are challenged by commercial "rideshares" and other taxi-like services that claim exemption from regulation.

American Journal of Preventive Medicine
June 11, 2013
Effectiveness of Taxicab Security Equipment in Reducing Driver Homicide Rates

Cammie K. Chaumont Menéndez, PhD, Harlan E. Amandus, PhD, Parisa Damadi, BS, Nan Wu, MS, Srinivas Konda, MPH, Scott A. Hendricks, MS

(Am J Prev Med 2013;45(1):1-8)


From page 5 of the article:

"These data support the hypothesis that installing cameras in taxicabs results in a reduction in citywide taxicab driver homicide rates post-installation (seven times lower homicide rate) and compared to cities with neither cameras nor partitions (three times lower homicide rate). The data do not support the hypothesis that cities with partitions installed in taxicabs experience lower taxicab driver homicide rates than cities with neither cameras nor partitions. This is the first study to methodically collect data from a nationally representative sample of the largest taxicab cities over a 15-year time span that allows for comparison of rates pre- and post-installation of cameras."


See also a related article by the same authors "Cities with camera-equipped taxicabs experience reduced taxicab driver homicide rates: United States, 1996 - 2010"

Two Lyft vehicles wait for fares at a San Francisco hotel

Unregulated Lyft "moustache cabs" wait for fares in front of licensed taxis at a San Francisco hotel.

The California Public Utilities Commission conducted a Rulemaking Proceeding on "Regulations Relating to Passenger Carriers, Ridesharing, and New Online-Enabled Transportation Services" from December 2012 to September 2013.

The process focused on public safety and innovation regarding companies such as Uber, Lyft, Tickengo, and Sidecar. The Commission decided to create a new class of for-hire service called "Transportation Network Companies" and established rules on September 19, 2013.

Filings included the CPUC's Order Instiuting Rulemaking and the formal comments of:

Many additional comments and replies from the various parties are available under the Documents tab on the Proceeding Details page of the CPUC web site.

Taxi with many screens installed for different hailing apps

Spoof of taxi hailing apps, many of which require a separate screen dedicated exclusively to that app.

2012 documents

If your minicab is not booked, it is just a strangers car

Graphic for the Cabwise app from Transport for London.

Sheree and William Kerner

"He's my best friend and he's my hero" said Sheree Kerner of her brother, New Orleans taxicab driver William L. Kerner IV. His death in a May 2011 robbery led to passage of SB 639 which elevated the killing of a taxicab driver to first-degree murder in Louisiana.

Reports of special interest from Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates

2011 documents

Yao Zhi-gang and Ding Xiao-dong use statistical analysis to measure service quality in a large city of Eastern China. Measuring Passenger's Perceptions of Taxi Service Quality with Weighted SERVPERF: a Case of Hangzhou, China was published October 2011 at a conference in Jinan, China.

Abstract: To have a good grasp of passenger's perceptions of taxi service quality, operators and regulators seek a proper method that can reflect passengers' opinions accurately. A weighted SERVPERF model was expressed to assess taxi service quality of Hangzhou City in China. All 22 items can be divided into five dimensions including tangibles, assurance, reliability, responsiveness, and empathy. Importance and performance scales of five dimensions were calculated. Authors found that assurance had highest points and responsiveness had lowest points in performance appraisal, reliability had highest points and empathy had lowest points in importance appraisal. Passenger's characteristics are unrelated with service quality evaluation indicate that there are not strong personalized demands of taxi passenger. Possible management actions are discussed in the context of a regulation environment.

Meeting participants pose for a group photo
- UN Photo
Participants pose for a group photo at the Expert Group Meeting in Rio de Janeiro, May 2011, on the Greening of the Latin American Taxi Fleet.

Special Report: Greening Taxis in Latin America

Presentations from the Expert Group Meeting in Rio de Janeiro, May 2011 on Sustainable Urban Transport: Policy Options for Modernizing and Greening Taxi Fleets in Latin American Cities. The meeting generated a wealth of information from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador and Mexico. The presentations also cover a wide range of topics including electric taxis in China, solar-powered bicycle taxis in Germany, motorized rickshaws in India, and greening in California and Korea.

SF taxicab rates of fare September 2011

Rate of fare as displayed in San Francisco taxicabs, September 2011.

2010 documents

A woman passenger rides in a shared taxi. The taxi's windshield is damaged and the woman has an anxious expression on her face.
- UN Photo/Sophia Paris, March 2010, Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Haiti "Cash for Work" Employee Relies on Tap-Tap Taxi -- A local supervisor for "Cash for Work", an initiative launched by the United Nations Development Programme in the aftermath of Haiti's earthquake, relies on a tap-tap, a shared taxi, to take her home from work. Haiti has an almost non-existent public transportation system. Many people depend on the privately-owned tap-taps for transportation even though they are often overloaded, mechanically unsound, and driven unsafely.

First medallion sale in San Francisco follwing a change in regulations.

Deputy Director of Taxi Services Chris Hayashi (left) and MTA Executive Director Nat Ford (right) look on as seller Mildred Megarity transfers her taxi medallion to buyer Ahmad Sidaoui on August 4, 2010. It was the first sale of a taxi medallion in San Francisco for 33 years. See more photos and a write-up on Ed Healy's blog. Photo courtesy of Ed Healy.

2009 documents

Seatbelt graphic

Seatbelt reminder from the City of Auburn in New South Wales

2008 documents

Brightly colored micro-taxi
- UN Photo/Mark Garten, November 2008 - Bogra, Bangladesh

Rural Development Programme Beneficiary -- A taxi entrepreneur and beneficiary of the Grameen Bank project for poverty eradication through micro credit lending, waits for a fare.

2007 documents

Reports of special interest from Schaller Consulting in NYC

These and others are available courtesy of Bruce Schaller at Taxi and Livery Papers and Reports

Photo of City Hall by C. Rathbone

San Francisco City Hall
As in most places, SF taxis are regulated by city government.

2006 documents

Lurid poster warning against unlicensed cabs

This attention-getting poster, issued by the South Somerset District Council, is part of a public safety campaign in England to warn cab users about the dangers of riding in unlicensed cabs during the 2006 holiday season. The national campaign is dubbed Taxiwise. The Mayor of London is leading the Cabwise program which facilitates getting a legal taxi or minicab with the help of text messaging. The Taxiwise and Cabwise programs are endorsed by celebrities and are receiving a high level of press attention throughout the UK.

2005 documents

Poster of women hailing for a cab used in the UK Taxiwise campaign

Birmingham UK public safety campaign

Photo: Citizens' Medal

Sheriff's Citizen's Medal awarded posthumously to Tuscon, Arizona taxicab driver Dawud Isa Abusida who gave his life when he stopped to aid an officer in trouble on August 10, 2005.

2004 documents

Prop N mailer

San Francisco voters received this campaign mailer regarding Proposition N of 2003, an unsuccessful initiative measure.

2003 documents

Photo of a minibus taxi

Minibus taxis are a key part of the South African transport system..

2002 documents

2001 documents

Regina ad from the 1930s

During the 1930's fierce competition drove down prices and resulted in flat rate fares like this one -- 25 cents to anyplace in Regina, Saskatchewan

2000 documents

Fatal cab-train wreck

Six people died in this 1999 wreck which was caused by an unlicensed taxi driver in Compton, California.

1999 documents

Chart: 13.3% of taxicab drivers - chauffeurs are female. Data for 1999 from US Dept of Labor Women's Bureau

1998 documents

Photo of a taximeter

Taxi fares are a favorite subject of economics research because taxis are the classic example of a regulated industry.

1997 documents

Photo of a colorful Tokyo taxi top light and flag

Flag atop a Tokyo taxi indicates to prospective customers that a discount rate of fare is in effect

1996 documents

Campaign poster

Campaign poster urging a No vote on San Francisco ballot measure Proposition J. The measure was rejected by voters.

Photo of colorful vehicles from above

A for-hire vehicle demonstration in Lima, Peru.

1995 documents

Photo of stuffed dummy with a pig-like head and a big bag of money.

Parody of a taxi tycoon displayed at a 1995 political event in support of driver-sponsored Proposition I, which was rejected by San Francisco voters.

1994 and earlier documents



Photo of a PCO facility with cabs up on the lifts, by Terry Smythe

Taxi inspection facility of the Public Carriage Office, London.

Links to regulators, industry groups and similar sites

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