San Francisco’s largest cab company is officially for sale.
Perhaps the first major casualty in the war with ride-hail industry heavyweights Uber and Lyft, Yellow Cab Cooperative was announced as a “BUSINESS FOR SALE – Largest San Francisco Taxi Cab Company” in an email circulating Monday.
“Yellow Cab Co-Op is basically over,” said Carl Macmurdo, president of the Medallion Holders Association.
Yellow Cab owns roughly 500 taxis, according to the sale letter, and has 10 years remaining on a lease of commercial property that has a 350 stall parking lot and 26,000 sq. ft. office facility.
Revenue for the fiscal year 2015 was about $24 million, according to the letter, which was sent by the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association.
Court documents from Yellow Cab’s bankruptcy filings show on Nov. 15 Thomas Carlson, a Northern District Court bankruptcy judge, took control of the sale of Yellow Cab from the cooperative and gave it to a trustee, instead.
In a subpeona of Yellow Cab communications and files, it was revealed the cooperative ceased paying its members in 2015 as it was “not generating enough revenue to give checks to the members,” according to court documents. Jim Gillespie, Yellow Cab’s former president, made the decision to stop the payments, and discussion of their financial woes extended several years leading up to 2015.
In her deposition, Yellow Cab Co-Op President Pamela Martinez said, “Too much money was being allocated to owners, then there wasn’t any money.”
Yellow Cab filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January, which was first reported by the San Francisco Examiner.
At the time, Yellow Cab said much of its business woes were due to millions of dollars in lawsuits stemming from accidents, with one settlement reaching as high as $8 million, which bled the company.
But a letter obtained by the Examiner from Yellow Cab top brass also said the company had a difficult time filling shifts in the business climate created by Uber and Lyft.