Report Finds Sleeping Drivers, Bed Bugs Among SF Taxi Complaints

CBSSanFrancisco.com
Wednesday, January 2, 2013

San Francisco recorded more than 1,700 complaints about poor taxi service from July 2011 to July 2012, including everything from drivers who smoke, speed, fall asleep, refuse fares and even taxis infested with bed bugs.

The report by "The Bay Citizen" found that passengers registered 1,733 complaints to San Francisco's 311 complaint line from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012. This was a 13 percent increase from the previous fiscal year.

Things like talking on the phone, texting and even playing mobile games all were on the list of complaints about taxi drivers. One passenger even complained that the driver offered a fare discount if she would make out with her friend.

Some frequent passengers said it can be an experience.

"On the phone, speeding and texting," said one female taxi cab rider.

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors Chairman Tom Nolan said there are only four taxi inspectors for 1,500 cabs in the city and some of the complaints from the report are troubling.

"10 complaints or so about drivers falling asleep, texting and talking on the phone," Nolan said. "We take this very, very seriously. Safety is a huge issue."

Nolan said San Francisco is working on a taxi rider's bill of rights.

National Cab President Dan Hinds said complaints today are far fewer than a decade ago, with safer cars and better oversight.