SFTWA Speech Points

Transportation is the largest consumer of fossil fuels in the US.


31% of all fossil fuel Co2 comes from transportation.


Reducing this is a laudable goal for all.


Over the next 5 years Uber/Lyft and other App service vehicles will emit over 10 million tons of Co2 in San Francisco alone.


Compared to SF Taxis 274k tons of Co2 in the same period.


The TNCs system of profit is one that is designed to fail. 


Failure that will reinforce their claims, eventually forcing cities to adopt their way of doing things.


Effectively taking cities as economic hostages.


In light of the TNC claims of being “green” or reducing congestion, lets ask the question:


Are they really as green as they claim?


Lets look at some numbers.


A typical hybrid car getting 35mpg is emitting 0.03 tons of carbon for every 100 miles traveled.


Your typical taxi travels 250 per day in SF.


That’s nearly a 10th of a ton of Co2 per day.


SF Taxis are 90% hybrid vehicles and there are almost 2000 total cabs.


This means that the SF taxi fleet as a whole emits approximately 150 tons of Co2 per day into our air.


Seems like a lot right?


We have only independently collected information and anecdotal information on the number of TNC vehicles we can only make educated guesses.


Estimates peg the TNC totals at:

Uber 20k+ cars / Lyft 14k+ cars / Other 10k+

That’s anywhere between 40-45k cars.


TNC vehicles are not required to be newer than 15 model years vs taxis 3 model years. 


TNC vehicles are also not required to be hybrid or alternative fuel.


SFO Officials and independent observers state that only 35% of TNCs are hybrid or alt-fuel.


Many on-demand drivers drive 50miles or more to work in SF.


With just 35k mostly part time TNCs and 15k other app service drivers for delivery and labor….


The on-demand economy is pumping over 5k tons of carbon per day and over 2.1 million tons per year into the SF Bay Area air.


No matter which way you try to slice it, TNCs and other App services pollute way more---


---more than 20x the amount that SF taxis do


Worse, these services pollute across the entire state as drivers commute in from farther and farther away.

Road miles are one of the biggest contributors to determining environmental impact of a car:


SF’s taxi fleet of 2000 cabs travel a total of nearly 450k miles per day. 


TNCs Bay Area fleets of over 35k vehicles travel an estimated over 8.7 million miles per day.  


In the last few years of TNCs flooding the city:


-       Taxi average trip times have increased by almost 20% (thereby increasing fares) 

-       Muni run times are 18% longer

-       Car to Car (non-injury) crashes up 23%

-       Car vs bike accidents up 6%

-       Double Parking up 125-300% (block basis)


So far it’s pretty clear that TNCs are an uber polluter, and if they really were reducing car trips as they claim…


San Francisco would not still be the 2nd most congested city in the nation, three years running.


The same 3 years Uber and Lyft have been operating


Lyft and Sidecar love to claim that we must reach a critical mass before the car trips are really reduced.


3 years and millions of tons of Co2 later if they haven’t reached it by now, they likely never will.


Independent estimates have world wide emissions increasing in 2015 by nearly 250 million tons of Co2 per year, over the estimated already 300 million tons since Uber was founded.   

Those same estimates peg Uber's total accumulated world wide Co2 emissions to hit 2.5 billion tons by 2020. 

Profit before the environment always in Corporate America.


What do these inexperienced, out of town, unskilled, polluting drivers cost the city?


They aren’t paying taxes, yet putting millions of miles on our roads daily….


Ever wonder why we have so many potholes?


With tens of thousands of cars traveling millions of miles per day in the city, with anywhere from 4- 10 stops per hour….


…. Double parking fines alone could earn the city over $100million per day…


…. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.


Breaking a cities’ critical infrastructure to reach a nebulous “critical mass” needed for paradigm shift…



Especially if its to the tune of 2 Million tons of Co2 a year.


This “critical mess” theory may work fine in low-density communities like suburbia.


Cities do not have the luxury of space to experiment with or give public space to private enterprise.


The city is no place for “Casual Cabbies” from out of town to come play taxi driver.


There is simply no room on the streets for error and TNCs are nothing but error after error.


SF being the birthplace of the on-demand driver economy has given us a glimpse into the problematic future these companies don’t want you to see.


TNCs are a corporate funnel to liberate cities from taxpayer money, into the hands of the 1%.

Falsely claiming to be “Green”, “Efficient”, Innovative how can ANYONE take these companies seriously in the face of their LIES. 

How much will 10 million tons of Co2 cost your city? 

The ONLY economic opportunity is theirs to pillage city coffers with your hands doing the dirty work.


Mayors of America:   Steer Clear of Uber

When you sell out your city to Uber,

watch your roads fall apart,

traffic backing up into the neighborhoods,

jammed with thousands of fools,

chasing dots on their smartphones.


When Uber is taking 30% of driver revenues, on every ride, drivers end up netting less than $0.32 cents on every dollar they earn.  BEFORE TAXES. 

They stole the taxi tech, taxi customers, taxi drivers, yet claim they aren’t a taxi.  

Using the smartphones of your citizens, Uber is cleaning out your city accounts.




?? Where does the SFTWA get its numbers?


Taxi company data, environmental studies, industry studies, private papers, private surveys, press releases, regulatory and city data.

All this data is analyzed and reported by to the SFTWA by an independent analyst and teams of analysts.

         Its Trade Secret who. 

Furthermore we are industry leading experts on how many miles a day a taxi drives,

how much carbon it emits,

how many TNCs there are in SF,


on the maximum ride per hour capacity of a for hire passenger vehicle in just about any city (5).


Lyft loves to brag about their % of rides beginning and ending at or near transit hubs;   almost like they invented picking up at transit hubs.


Fact is… Taxi trips begin and end, at or near transit hubs as much if not more than Lyft.   ANNNNNDDD



Just like splitting cab fare with a stranger to get uptown…. No innovation there.

According to the Schaller Consulting Study in 2004


(NYC)  Taxi drivers have fewer accidents per mile and hour driven than a suburban soccer mom.


Does it still sound good to have more amateur taxi drivers than professionals being ambassadors to your city?


One environmental question we didn’t have time to ask our analyst about was the water cost.

We are in a drought and in California we refine our own gasoline, a process that uses water.

It takes 8 gallons of water to refine one gallon of gas.... 

With that and daily car washes…. How many millions of gallons of water are we losing to Uber as well?