San Francisco Taxi Workers Alliance to protest expansion of driverless car fleets

The San Francisco Taxi Workers Alliance is planning a protest at the headquarters of the California Public Utilities Commission on Monday against the expansion of autonomous vehicle fleets in the city.

Taxi drivers and their supporters hope to stop the commission from lifting current restrictions and allowing Waymo and Cruise to offer driverless commercial passenger service 24/7 anywhere in the city.

The commission, which is responsible for regulations of autonomous vehicles or AVs, has called a meeting Monday to discuss AV interference with first responders and is set to vote on granting expanded operations Thursday…

Taxi drivers say the coming of AVs is especially threatening to those who bought a medallion from the city. A medallion permits an individual or company to operate a taxicab.

“Of the 700 or so medallion purchasers, over 40 percent have already lost their medallions to foreclosure,” Gruberg said. “Once AVs have gained a foothold, the rest may not be far behind.”