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Revised Taxi E-Hail Requirements Notices

Effective Date
Wednesday, May 12, 2021 - 9:00am
News categories
Taxi Industry

To: San Francisco Taxi Dispatch Services

This memorandum updates the e-hail application provider criteria referenced in Transportation Code § 1107(c)(7), which provides that a Dispatch Service “[m]ust affiliate with an e-hail application provider that meets criteria established by the Director of Transportation.” The memorandum that established the original e-hail criteria, which are now superseded, is attached as Appendix I for reference.

To comply with Section 1107(c)(7), each Dispatch Service must make available to each Color Scheme with which it is affiliated an e-hail mobile application that meets the following criteria and performance standards, which are effective as of July 1, 2021:

  1. To ensure adequate supply for taxi customers, the mobile application must be affiliated with at least 100 medallions. New mobile application providers must comply with this requirement no later than six months after approval. Failure to come into compliance within six months of approval will result in the mobile application provider losing approval status.
  2. To ensure adequate response rates, the mobile application must provide the average pick- up response rate and time to the affiliated dispatch service and to SFMTA upon request.
  3. The mobile application must provide the following functionality to customers:
    1. Ability to view available taxis filtered by vehicle type (Ramp Taxi, SUV, or sedan) and to book desired vehicle type
    2. Ability to input pick up and drop off location in the application
    3. Estimate time of trip, including estimate for a taxi to arrive at customer’s desired pick up location and estimate of drop off time at desired destination
    4. Fare estimation of trip (which may be given as a range)
  4. The mobile application must have a documented grievance procedure for drivers and passengers.
  5. The mobile application must transmit all e-hail trip information to SFMTA’s Electronic Taxi Access System (ETAS). This e-hail trip information can be transmitted by directly integrating with ETAS, interfacing with the existing In-Taxi Equipment, or flowing through another system that is already integrated with ETAS. Technical specifications are available online and may be updated from time to time.
  6. The mobile application must integrate with the Paratransit trip and payment features outlined in Prescreening Checklist for Evaluation of Taxi E-Hail App Integration with San Francisco Paratransit at no cost to the SF Paratransit Program (Appendix II).
  7. The application shall not charge passengers, drivers, or the SF Paratransit program any app fee(s) for trips that are paid for with Paratransit debit cards.
  8. The mobile application must pay drivers within 5 business days of completion of the trip.
  9. To expand the e-hail application customer reach, the Director of Transportation may also require integration with specific third-party platforms (e.g. Muni Mobile application). Taxi mobile applications (or their operators) must be able to transmit the same trip information as required above in Requirement #3. Taxi mobile applications must be able to link to mobile application from the third-party platform.

    The SFMTA may require mobile applications to integrate with third-party platforms using a specific API standard at a future date.

A Dispatch Service is not precluded from affiliating with more than one mobile application or with a mobile application that does not meet the above requirements, as long as it is affiliated with at least one mobile application that does meet the requirements. The SFMA encourages Dispatch Services to use APIs to integrate with multiple applications, including trip planning and mapping applications.

The mobile application must be available and in the active state -- able to accept hails in every vehicle in the dispatch fleet -- at all times that the vehicle is in service with a Driver.

Transportation Code § 1108(e)(13) requires all Drivers to log into all In-Taxi Equipment at all times while operating a taxi vehicle, including the e-hail application with which the Dispatch Service is affiliated.

Each Dispatch Service must affiliate with an e-hail app that demonstrates compliance to the satisfaction of the SFMTA. A Dispatch Service that is not affiliated with an approved e-hail app or the e-hail app with which a Dispatch Service is affiliated loses its approval status, is subject to citation pursuant to Transportation Code § 1107(c)(7) and may be placed on administrative probation.

Appendix I and II in the pdf.