Ride-sharing vehicles like Uber and Lyft have become extremely popular over the last few years competing with traditional taxi cabs as available means of getting around the city. In California, there has been a 30 percent decline in taxi usage since Uber began in 2012, while ride sharing has doubled since 2015.
However, this doesn’t mean that there are no more taxis in cities like San Jose. Cyclists need to watch out for the natural dangers that taxi cabs present, especially in the downtown region. There are significant differences between taxi cabs and ride-sharing.
Differences in Taxi Cabs and Ride Sharing
|Heavily regulated||Only a few laws governing industry|
|Can’t refuse passenger unless in danger||Can blacklist passengers|
|Can’t refuse to travel to certain areas||Can restrict drivers from certain areas|
|Accept cash and credit card||Only takes credit, debit or other electronic payments|
|No requirement for using app (some companies offer an app||Only use a mobile app to arrange a ride|
|Cabs hang out in highly populated areas waiting for riders to hale them||Can wait anywhere will logged in waiting for rider to choose them|
Issues Surrounding Taxis and Cyclists
Taxis have been a part of city life in the U.S. since the invention of cars. Cabs are constantly picking up and dropping off passengers and even delivering packages. This brings taxis and cyclists in close proximity in the cities which creates certain problems.
Cabs need to park to pick up and drop off their passengers where they want to be picked up or dropped off. Since San Jose has almost 300 miles of bike lanes so in many spots, the taxi cab parks on a designated bike land to do business. Even though they are there a short time, this causes both collision and swerving accidents.
It’s illegal for any vehicle (with a few exception) to stop on a bike lane. However, cabs do it often out of necessity. It is also illegal for a cab to stop in the vehicle lane, so if there is a bike lane against the curb, then there is no other option for the cab but to stop in the street if he or she wants to avoid the bike lane. Many cab drivers reason that its safer for them and their passengers to stop in the bike lane so the passenger isn’t being let out in the street.
This causes problems for bikes because often they have no where to go to avoid the cab, or they risk swerving into traffic or the sidewalk to avoid the parked cab.
Dooring happens when a motorist or passenger opens his or her door right in front of a cyclist who doesn’t have time to react and then runs into the door. The injuries that accompany dooring can be severe and even cause death.
Under California law, a driver is to use caution when opening the car door and is prohibited from opening in front of a moving cyclist. However, the fine is small, and most drivers and passengers don’t’ think about it until it’s too late.
Who pays when a cyclist is hurt by a cab. Of course, it depends on who’s at fault. California is a comparative fault state, so if the cyclist, for example, is 30 percent at fault, then the taxi cab will pay 70 percent of the injured party’s damages.
This money comes from the insurance company for the taxi driver (if independent) or the company. While California law only requires a motorist to have $15,000 liability for one person and $30,000 for two or more, cabs must have $100,000 minimum for one person and up to $1 million for multiple persons.
Contact a Bicycle Crash Attorney Today.
If you are involved in an accident involving a taxi cab, call the San Jose Bicycle Accident Lawyers at Bay Area Bicycle Law. They have the knowledge and experience dealing with insurance carriers. They also know bicycle law as they are the only law firm that deals exclusively with bicycle law in the San Jose area as well as all of northern California.
Start putting someone on your side, call us at (415) 466 8717 or click here to contact us online. If you still wonder if we’re the right firm for you or even if you need an attorney, read this this for help answering these questions.