Taxis & Accessible Services
Traditionally, Taxis and Accessible Services Division (TAS) has represented a combination of two distinct functions of the SFMTA that substantially overlap in the regulation of the taxi industry. Accessible Services is a core support function for all modes of the agency to ensure that transit, pedestrian and bike facilities and taxi services are accessible to older adults and people with disabilities. This division also oversees the SFMTA Paratransit program. In order to provide a cost-efficient and customer friendly network of paratransit services, Accessible Services has leveraged the private taxi industry in a private-public partnership. Taxi Services’ core function is to license and regulate the private taxi industry to ensure that drivers and vehicles are safe, that taxi service is accessible to the disability community, and service is available regardless of trip origin or destination at prices that are transparent.
Over the past few years, transportation options in San Francisco have changed significantly, and the functions of TAS have expanded as well. A variety of mobility services and technologies have emerged, from mobile applications that connect passengers with on demand service, shared ride van services, shared scooter services, to autonomous vehicles that are currently being tested on our City streets. These new mobility services present both opportunities and challenges to the safe and efficient movement of people and goods in San Francisco, which is mandated by City Charter in the Transit-First Policy.
In response to these changes, TAS has partnered with the Sustainable Streets Division (SSD) to develop and implement permit programs to balance the drive for innovation with the goals of providing safe, reliable, accessible and equitable transportation in San Francisco. In addition to the regulatory oversight of compliance by taxi industry permittees, TAS has assumed the responsibility for oversight and management of the Private Transport Vehicles (PTV) and Commuter Shuttle permit programs, as well as supporting permit issuance and enforcement of the Electric Shared Scooter permit program.
Taxis and Accessible Services is collaborating with SSD to harmonize regulated mobility permit programs. By harmonizing and standardizing the regulated mobility permit programs, SFMTA will be prepared to oversee existing, new and future programs, as well as benefit from a more efficient organizational structure. SSD’s Office of Innovation will continue to work on incubating new mobility programs and pilots and take the lead in establishing policies in collaboration with TAS. TAS is the operational division that regulates and manages on-going regulated mobility permit programs.
The Accessible Services Program provides a dedicated focus on the needs of seniors and individuals with disabilities to ensure access to all transportation modes in San Francisco. This includes:
- Muni Fixed Route: assuring that the Muni fixed route system is fully accessible and usable by people with disabilities and seniors
- SF Paratransit: overseeing the administration of the city’s paratransit program through a contract with Transdev to provide more than 700,000 van and taxi rides to approximately 14,000 eligible individuals with disabilities
- Regional Transit Connection Discount ID card program: providing qualifying individuals an Regional Transit Connection (RTC) Clipper Card that allows them to access the discounted fare on all participating transit systems in the region
- Technical Support: providing technical expertise on Muni, bicycle, and pedestrian projects to ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act
- Community Participation: staffing two active public advisory committees, the Multimodal Accessibility Advisory Committee, which provides feedback about disabled access to Muni, streets projects and other modes of transportation regulated by SFMTA, and the Paratransit Coordinating Council, which provides feedback regarding service quality for the city’s paratransit program
- Emerging Mobility: ensuring that disabled access is considered and promoted as part of emerging mobility services evaluation, permitting and operations
Access staff members have taken a leadership role in assuring that disabled access is considered and promoted as part of emerging mobility services evaluation, permitting and implementation.
RTC: Regional Transit Connection