Taxi Drivers Stage Noisy Protest Outside Uber HQ

SF Taxi Drivers Stage Noisy Protest Outside Uber HQ
Posted By Rachel Swan
on Wed, Oct 8, 2014 at 3:56 PM

Rachel Swan
The dozens of taxi drivers who flocked to Uber's mid-Market headquarters today had the usual litany of complaints about how app-based car-hire services are eviscerating the cab industry, and the usual slogans about unfair competition and evil tech companies. One sign framed the battle in Biblical terms: "What would Jesus do?" it asked. Answer: "Hail a taxi."

But today's protest had a sense of palpable desperation that's gradually overtaken the cab industry — or what's left of it — since drivers began protesting their tech counterparts last year. Winter is coming, and it's traditionally a slow season for cabs, as the Examiner reported. And while Uber may have raised safety concerns after a widely publicized hammer assault in September, the company doesn't appear to be going anywhere.

So taxi drivers are fighting back with the best weapon they have: noisy, irritating, uninhibitedly honking horns. A line of cabs from various San Francisco companies circled the block of outside 1455 Market St. today, where Uber cohabitates with social media startup Square. They blared their horns for an uninterrupted hour-and-a-half during lunch hour, allowing the protest to resonate for at least two blocks in every direction.