Friday, April 5, 2013

SFO Serves Cease-And-Desist Orders to Lyft, Sidecar and Instant Cab: SFMTA to Put on 8 to 12 More Inspectors

The SMTA has committed to hiring eight to twelve more inspectors to join Mike Harris and Eric Richholt (photo). Two of them will be starting within the next two weeks. Mike has been recovering from an illness so Eric has been the only inspector that Taxi Services has had for the last six months.

The MTA has been a little slow on the uptake but they are to be commended for finally taking action. Kudos.

The San Francisco Airport Cracks Down on Fake Ride-Sharing Companies.

Just passing on the news since I haven't done the legwork myself. Here is the link to the Tech Crunch article.

In addition, a news source has finally come out with a piece against the characters who run Lyft and Sidecar ... well, at least the Bay Guardian sees the companies for what they are. Maybe in the next post, the paper will let their readers know that John Zimmer and Sunil Paul are telling their drivers and riders that Lyft and Sidecar's vehicles are insured when they are not.  Here is the link to the Bay Guardian.

BTW - I came in late from Las Vegas last Wednesday night and waited for half an hour for a friend to pick me up at Southwest - the first terminal at SFO. While I stood there, five old Toyotas or Hondas came by one at a time and pulled up in front of me. Each driver held a cell phone while he studied a GPS map on the dash with a baffled look on his face. After a few minutes each drove on. Apparently none of them had had the smarts to look up where the various terminals were before they left the city.

On the other hand, there were no Lyfts. Maybe the drivers take off the mustaches before they go to the airport. In any case, these clowns should make fat targets for Taxi Service inspectors. They certainly are not hard to spot.


You can read the CBS report on SFO's Cease and Desist letters at this link.

SFO spokesman Doug Yakel is quoted as saying:

“We’re certainly open to new business concepts, but we want to apply the same standard to all businesses that operate here at SFO and that requires going through the permit process.”


  1. Erik Richolt has been the only inspector for the SFMTA for the last six months. Six months when Lyft, Side Car and illegal limos ran riot over the taxi's. While taxi drivers screamed for help, the top priority for Mr. Richolt appeared to be cracking down on medallion holders who were not meeting their driving requirements. There is putting priorities in order. Great job!!!!

  2. My Goodness! Talk about biting the wrong end of a stick.

    Inspector Richholt is one of the most impressive people I've met in the last few years. He's smart, knowledgeable and very hard working. I know for a fact that he's gone out on his own time to ticket illegal cabs. Unfortunately, it's been like trying to stop a flood by putting his pinky in a bursting dike.

    The people to blame are: 1.Whatever corrupt moron within the CPUC took away the Cease and Desist orders against Uber and Lyft. 2. Mayor Ed Lee who could still stop these illegal taxis by sicking the cops on them like they do in Philly. 3. Politicians like Scott Weiner who encourage these fraudulent jerks. 4. The MTA for not giving Hayashi more inspectors three years ago when she started asking for them.

    Do you feel that medallion holders who don't want to work are being oppressed? There are drivers who've been working and waiting for 15 years who would love to have the medallions that aren't being properly used by these holders.

  3. I don't disagree that Inspector Richolt has done hard work ticketing illegal cabs. But if the 8 to 12 new Inspectors spend as much time going after medallion holders as Inspector Richolt has, the SFMTA will have to start offering medallions in the Free Stuff section of Craigslist by this time next year. The only priority right now for the survival of the taxi industry that employs us all is to go after Uber, Lyft, Sidecar and the illegal limos and taxi's.

    But maybe he is being directed to go after non-driving medallion holders by his superiors. Every one he catches brings in more potential income for the SFMTA. What a wonderful system they have created.

  4. You're Right! Taxi Services is hiring 8 to 12 inspectors simply to shuffle papers and respond to paranoid criticism by people who have nothing better to do.