Data shows ridehail citations outnumber other autos. TNC stands for "transportation network company," the regulatory name for ridehails like Uber and Lyft. (Data courtesy San Francisco Police Department)

SFPD: Uber, Lyft account for two-thirds of congestion-related traffic violations downtown

Nearly two thirds of congestion-related traffic violations downtown were from Uber and Lyft vehicles, according to the San Francisco Police Department.

Speaking to the San Francisco Examiner, Supervisor Aaron Peskin said the number was dramatic enough to spur a potential lawsuit against Uber and Lyft.

“I’m going to talk to City Attorney [Dennis] Herrera about this right now,” he said, and added he’d like to ask the State Attorney General’s Office to join a potential action.

In a Board of Supervisors Land Use and Transportation committee hearing Monday, Peskin said, “This number is basically unbelievable,” to SFPD Cmdr. Robert O’Sullivan, who presented the data.

“What you’re telling me is [ride-hail] drivers violate the law more flagrantly than non-[ride-hail] drivers,” Peskin added. O’Sullivan, who heads SFPD’s traffic company, answered that for the “snapshot of time” in which the data was taken, “Yes.”

Data shows ridehail citations outnumber other autos. TNC stands for “transportation network company,” the regulatory name for ridehails like Uber and Lyft. (Data courtesy San Francisco Police Department)

The data presented by O’Sullivan was compiled by SFPD between April 1 and June 30 and shows Uber and Lyft vehicles comprising the lion’s share of key traffic violations related to congestion.

Of drivers found illegally driving in transit-only lanes, 1,144 out of 1,715 were ride-hail drivers. Additionally, 183 out of 239 tickets issued for drivers obstructing a lane of traffic, or a bike lane, were issued to Uber and Lyft drivers. Ride-hail drivers also were cited more than other drivers for making U-Turns in a business district, 42 times out of a total 57.

Uber and Lyft drivers were also cited for driving in bike lanes and obstructing bike lanes, and committed “other transit violations” far more often than other drivers.

All told, out of 2,656 traffic violations total, 1,723 citations were of a ride-hail vehicles, according to the SFPD.

Lyft wrote in a statement, “We are supportive of holistic efforts to address congestion and have been in conversations with city officials for months to engage collaboratively on a pilot program to do just that,” referring to a collaboration first reported by the Examiner between Lyft and Mayor Ed Lee.

O’Sullivan told the Examiner he learned “anecdotally” that a “significant number of the violators” were ride-hail drivers. To discover if this was true, he directed an SFPD sergeant to have his officers track whether the violators issued a citation were ride-hail operators, either by self-identifying or from a sticker on the vehicle.

“Dangerous or reckless” driving behavior from Uber and Lyft vehicles is “the number one thing we hear from our members,” said San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Director Brian Wiedenmeier.

However, Jim Lazarus, of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, cautioned that ride-hail customers were Peskin’s constituents — and that they clearly depend on the transit option.

“The people of San Francisco have told you how they want to get around,” he said.Transit

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

The admissions process at the academically competitive Lowell High School is set to change this year due to coronavirus restritions. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Lowell’s selective admissions process put on hold this year — and more changes may be in the works

School board votes unanimously to use normal student assignment lottery for competitive school

Diners sit outside Caffe Greco in North Beach on Monday, June 15, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SF becomes first Bay Area County to move to least restrictive COVID-19 category

Change to ‘yellow’ will allow more indoor dining and fitness, reopening non-essential offices

City officials want to install more red light cameras but the process is costly and time consuming. (Shutterstock)
Transit officials push for more red light cameras

SFMTA says ‘capital crunch’ and dragging timelines make expanding the program cumbersome

Police release an image a cracked windshield on a Prius that Cesar Vargas allegedly tried to carjack. Vargas, who was shot by police a short time later, can be seen in videos jumping on the windshield and pushing a Muni passenger who disembarked from a bus. (Courtesy SFPD
SFPD releases videos of deadly police shooting

Cesar Vargas killed after reports of carjacking with knife

Organizers of the San Francisco International Arts Festival had planned to use parts of Fort Mason including the Parade Ground, Eucalyptus Grove and Black Point Battery to host performances by about a dozen Bay Area arts groups. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Arts festival sues city over permit denial

Organizer says outdoor performances should be treated like demonstrations, religious gatherings

Most Read