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The SFMTA supports the taxi industry during the pandemic as of March 2021

In order to support the taxi industry during the pandemic, the SFMTA has provided the following support to the taxi industry, as of March 2021:

  • Waive all taxi-related fees for the next two fiscal years.
  • Established Essential Trip Card (ETC) program to provide discounted taxi trips for seniors and people with disabilities who would have otherwise taken the trip on Muni. Over 2,600 riders are currently signed up for this program and over 12,000 trips provided thus far.
  • Post promotional video of ETC program.
  • Support the Department of Environment’s Essential Worker Ride Home program, which provides subsidized taxi trips for essential workers. SFMTA worked with the Transportation Authority and the Department of Environment staff to identify $447,000 in funding that was reprogrammed to support this important program.
  • Provide personal protective equipment (PPE) kits that include sanitizing fluid, paper towels, nitrile gloves, and face masks for taxi drivers. 
  • Train taxi company representatives and posted training video on proper cleaning procedures.
  • Require that taxis be sanitized after each passenger trip and followed up with enforcement activities to ensure compliance.
  • Procured and distributed clear plastic shields for vehicles at no charge to taxi companies. This plastic shield adds a layer of protection for both the driver and passenger. 
  • Publicized the benefits of taking taxis via Blog Post.
  • Honored outstanding Every Day Heroes: Taxi Driver Corey Lamb.
  • Increased the per vehicle rebate up to $7,700 in the SFMTA’s Clean Air Taxi program and expand eligibility to used vehicles. Over 96% vehicles in the taxi fleet are low-emission and play a critical role in meeting the City’s ambitious climate goal of 80% of trips taken by sustainable means of travel by 2030.
  • Taxis are included in the expansion of the network of permanent transit only lanes, which will allow taxis to provide more efficient service to customers.
  • Included taxis in the emergency order for Temporary Transit Only Lanes currently being implemented.
  • Launched pre-pilot to test concept of using taxis to provide work-related trips for city employees to replace non-revenue vehicle trips.
  • Distributed face mask stickers to inform passengers that they must wear a face mask while riding in a taxi.
  • Reprogramed approximately $240,000 for a taxi marketing campaign, which will be developed in winter/spring and is intended to provide sustained value over time, leveraging SFMTA’s in-house marketing talent, access to on-board advertising, and public service announcements.
  • SFMTA will now pay the $600 cost of the Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) evaluation for taxi drivers who failed the drug test as part of the driver permit renewal process
  • Temporarily suspended the Post-K full-time driving requirement
  • Temporarily modified the insurance requirements for a twelve-month period
  • Published an on-line map of the transit-only (red) lanes, which shows both taxi stands and red lanes that specifically allow taxis. This useful tool shows taxi drivers and potential riders how taxis are able to bypass normal vehicle restrictions with access to these lanes across the city.
  • Provided information relevant to the taxi industry regarding Covid-19 crisis resources, CARES Act benefits, and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.
  • Requested SF Federal Credit Union establish a loan deferral program for taxi medallion holders.
  • Temporarily amended the ramp taxi incentives at SFO to make it easier to qualify for the benefit and limiting the number of short trips per month. The SFO Short pass allows eligible drivers to have a maximum of 15 short trips per month.
  • Updated the SFO rules to only allow pick-ups in Purchased medallions and ramp taxis.
  • Requested that taxi drivers be eligible for the vaccine shot as soon as possible, and be considered in the same group as Muni operators and paratransit drivers.
  • Provide additional access to taxi service for those who use the  Essential Trip Card for trips to/from vaccine appointments
  • Support the Board of Supervisors’ ordinance amending the Business and Tax Regulations Code to extend the temporary suspension of the business registration and fee for taxi drivers through fiscal year 2022.  

Summary PPE Provided to the Taxi industry (minimum count) [as of 3/11/21]

  • Taxi industry:
    • 14,504 gloves
    • 3,469 masks
    • 830 hand sanitizers
    • 87 gallons of disinfectant
    • 259 rolls of paper towels
    • 822 plastic shields installed between front and rear seat