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A Grouchy Cabbie is One Thing; Pestilence is Another

cab

You know you have a problem with your city taxis when NYC's cab system is lifted up as a role model.

Indeed, New York cabbies offer charming, sanitary and justice-based services, at least perhaps compared to the taxi drivers in San Francisco. According to a Bay Area publication, San Francisco's complaint line got 1,733 calls last year related to the city's cab drivers; it was a 13 percent uptick from the previous year, and almost double the 900-complaint goal put forward by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

The complaints about drivers ranged from their refusing to take passengers to using riders' credit cards to make purchases in Brazil, and pretty much anything in between. There were drivers who were texting or talking on their cells while driving; cabs that reeked of pot smoke; and one driver who repeatedly fell asleep behind the wheel.

At least one anonymous complaint came from a driver himself that his cab infested with bed bugs, and that his bosses did not seem to care. "Me and the other drivers are getting tons of bites," he told the complaint line. (The cab company later commented that it was just one cab, which had since been fumigated and added that bed bugs can happen anywhere.)

A spokesman for the SFMTA says that they are working on a passengers bill of rights, similar to the one posted in NYC cabs. And for better or worse, NYC bed bugs still seem to prefer lounging in hotels to hailing a cab themselves. Have you had a vividly bad cab ride in SF?

Photo by istockphoto

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