Ever since rideshare has come onto the scene, there has been competition between rideshare and taxi drivers. Over the years, we’ve had Rideshare Guy contributors try out taxi driving, and, for the most part, they loved it! Take a look at our tips on becoming a taxi driver, and what the experience of being a taxi driver is like.
Could taxi driving be the right next move for you? If you’re a driver in San Francisco (or anywhere really!), here are eight reasons why taxi driving might be for you!
8 Reasons Why You Should Drive a Taxi in San Francisco Vs. Drive for Uber
One of the top taxi companies in San Francisco is Yellow Cab. They have a fleet of 300 vehicles, and Yellow Cab has been around since the 1950s. The current owners have owned Yellow Cab since 2017.
But what about earnings? According to the CEO of Yellow Cab, Chris Sweis, top earners can take home up to $3,000 a week. Drivers do not receive paystubs since they’re contractors, but typical shifts add up to $3,000 a week, according to Yellow Cab. According to data from Yellow Cab, the top 25% of earners earn $6,000 and up per month.
Just like with rideshare driving, this number depends on how many hours you drive, the volume of accepted rides, and the types of rides given. And of course, how good of a driver you are!
2) No commission
With taxi companies like Yellow Cab, drivers keep all their earnings. That’s right – there are no booking fees or service fees that you pay into Yellow Cab with each fare.
We know this is a huge issue for rideshare drivers – how many times have you been surprised by Uber or Lyft taking 40%+ of your earnings?
So how does Yellow Cab make money? As a taxi driver, you pay a flat $700 a week to rent their vehicle, and you get to keep the rest. Yellow Cab also covers the maintenance of rented vehicles, which can be a big burden for drivers. This is a great deal if you’re a full-time driver and if you know how to leverage tips.
In addition to covering maintenance, Yellow Cab offers Ford Fusions and Escape Hybrids to their drivers. Use the hybrid option to save even more on gas costs.
Being able to keep your full fare is something rideshare drivers have wanted for ages. As a taxi driver for Yellow Cab, you get that right away.
3) No wear and tear on your personal vehicle
As a Yellow Cab taxi driver, you rent a vehicle from Yellow Cab instead of using your vehicle, so you’ll have no maintenance costs or added wear and tear to worry about. You don’t even have to worry about paying for car insurance. That is included in your rental payment!
4) Transit lane access
If you’re familiar with San Francisco, you know that there are certain lanes that personal vehicles (including Uber and Lyft drivers) are not allowed to use and that there are prohibited left turns if using a personal vehicle.
As a Yellow Cab driver, you’d be able to take advantage of these transit perks. Your ability to make many left turns where private vehicles can’t and use of the red Transit Lanes allow you to complete trips faster and move on to the next ride with reduced trip durations.
You’ll also have happier passengers by getting them to their destination faster.
5) Live dispatchers and support staff
As a Yellow Cab taxi driver, If something goes wrong while you’re driving, someone can speak with you whenever you need. Yellow Cab, for instance, has live dispatchers and in-person staff who can support you in your business from their office in San Francisco.
This kind of support is hard to find in the ridesharing world, where support prefers you to send a chat or email instead of calling for immediate assistance.
6) Curb access at the SFO airport
Taxi stands at SFO are conveniently located across the street from baggage claim. Passengers can walk across the street to you rather than going up three floors to the TNC Lot.
Taxi drivers are provided an app by SFO that manages their queue position to pick up there. Minimize downtime by working until your turn to pick up at SFO!
7) Commercial vehicle access
Similar to the perks at the airport and with the transit lane access, as a Yellow Cab driver, you’ll have access to Market Street and other similar locations where only commercial vehicles are allowed, giving you better access to your passengers.
8) Curbside hails
Be able to pick up any and all passengers, not just ones that have booked a ride through the app. You’ll have more flexibility in earning potential by being able to drive downtown or elsewhere and pick up passengers who flag you down instead of being limited to whoever books a ride through the app, like with Uber.
So could taxi driving be the right next move for you? If you’re a San Francisco driver or are considering becoming one, we recommend you look into taxi driving with a company like Yellow Cab. Check it out and see if it’s something you may be interested in!
Have you ever driven a taxi before? What was your experience like?
-Paula @ RSG