There is one thing that can be said about driving in San Francisco traffic . . . “Phew, made it through another day.” It seems as though San Francisco traffic is regulated by the Taxi, Limo, Rideshare, and Bus services. Any vehicle that slides into the flow that is unfamiliar with how these drivers drive is likely to cause congestion.
Take for instance stopping to on-load or off-load passengers. Anybody that looks for a place to stop for this will create an absolute cluster-#$%^ where if they just pull over middle of the lane and do it everybody else work s around them without difficulty. If you slide along looking for a gap to pull into, you cause others to have to navigate around your every move. Pull over, stop, get it done, then get out the way.
On Friday and Saturday nights, the traffic lane closest the clubs entrance belongs to the Police and/or the driver services providing for that club. You will see a line of Taxis and Limos at the entrance to most of the clubs. You will see people leaving the clubs hailing cabs and limos from the street. Uber cannot take fares hailed from the street. We also cannot join a Taxi Stand or Line waiting for the next available rider. Some of the smarter Uber drivers do however line up at events that they know are closing for the day, like the end of a movie, concert, or ball game. These drivers still cannot accept next in line or hails from the street. Uber drivers can only pick up riders using the Uber Rider App on their SmartPhones.
Last night I had a number of riders that “cancelled” after I had driven lengthy distances to pick them up, using alternative transportation to go wherever they were going. The problem with this is the expense the Uber Driver incurs driving the distance only to be cancelled. And, their fellow Uber drivers are a part of the problem. Some Uber drivers agree to pick up riders in advance. What happens is the driver agreed to pick them up is not in position to get pinged for the ride and the ping goes to another driver. Then while the other driver is enroute the agreed driver shows up and the rider cancels the enroute driver to resend their request so the agreed upon driver can accept the rider.
To do an agreed upon rider pick up properly, the rider cannot send his rider request until the driver is in position to accept the rider. The Uber App sends the rider request to the nearest driver available to accept the rider. This means that for an agreed upon ride to work properly the agreed upon driver has to be available “on-line” and be at the location of the pick up when the rider request is sent. As Uber expects drivers to accept and complete a high percentage of the requests sent to them. I am not sure but I do not see how “cancels” due to agreed riders does not adversely impact fellow drivers.
Uber drivers are constantly being observed by Uber Administration. And, Uber Drivers never know who they are picking up. Any ride can have a Uber employee included. I like to talk with my riders, just as a matter of being friendly and sociable I try to carry a little small talk with my riders. Some you can tell do not care for the conversation, others enjoy it, and others might be Uber employees that report everything you say and do back to Uber Admin. This can be a good thing, or a bad thing. But one thing it is, is good for the riders. Even though some may not appreciate the clandestine intrusion into our work day, it provides Uber the ability to see if they have drivers less than qualified, or less than desirable at the wheel.
One of the things that concerns me about the driver rating system used by Uber, is it allows people that do not drive in San Francisco traffic to rate those who do. drivers that drive around San Francisco just to and from work or the store might drive less than 20 miles in the City. In that 20 miles most will have a close call with another car or pedestrian. I do not know how many miles most drivers drive but I easily average 100 miles per day. The mere fact that I make it through the day any day is a testament to my luck. I just would hate to think someone that does not recognize such when rating me, could adversely impact me. A person can drive all their lives and still not be prepared for the San Francisco driving experience.
One of the things I do is wait to ensure my riders in their home late at night. I tell most women riding alone that I am not stalking them, just ensuring they are secure in their home before I drive off because they think it “creepy” without explanation. And although I do not wait for most men, I do wait for even multiple riders to get inside if they are tourists traveling without someone knowledgeable of the area. I know it would really bug me if I dropped someone off and something bad happened to them. Sure my responsibility ends the moment they leave the car, but extending a little courtesy is never a bad thing.