By Carolyn Said
For San Francisco riders, on-demand services Uber, Lyft and Sidecar consistently arrive much more quickly than taxis, according to a new study from UC Berkeley researchers.
That single fact goes a long way to explaining why the upstart companies have walloped taxi service in the city in just two years of operation.
“Wait times are really important to people’s demand for and confidence in using the services,” said study co-author Susan Shaheen, co-director of UC Berkeley’s Transportation Sustainability Research Center. “The differences between ride sourcing and taxicabs are notable.”
Almost two-thirds of riders said taxis typically took more than 10 minutes to arrive at their homes during daytime on weekdays, while only about 10 percent ever had to wait that long for an on-demand ride service, according to the study. At night and on weekends, only 16 percent got a dispatched taxi in less than 10 minutes, while nearly 90 percent got an on-demand service in under 10 minutes.