San Francisco's Yellow Cab company will file for bankruptcy


San Francisco’s largest cab company is set to file for bankruptcy, thanks in part to Uber and Lyft, reports the San Francisco Examiner.

In a letter to shareholders dated December 10, 2015 and obtained by the Examiner, the president of Yellow Cab Co-Op explained that the company is “in a midst of serious financial setbacks,” and that the members of the board “are preparing all the required documents to file for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, and expect that this process will move forward within a month.”

Martinez explained the the filing “will allow us to reorganize our financial status and relieve us of certain unsecured debts.” She said that nothing will change immediately: Drivers will continue as usual and hours will remain the same.

The financial move appears to be coupled with a PR campaign designed to win customers back from rivals—presumably, ride-sharing firms like Lyft and Uber. “Yellow is still the best taxi brand in San Francisco,” she writes, adding:

Thousands of customers call us every year. On an annual basis over 5 million passengers are transported in Yellow cabs. We used to have more and our goal is to get them and even more back… we must get the public to smile when they think of Yellow Cab and the way to that goal is to be more welcoming and responsive by making an extra effort.

The Examiner reports that the Yellow Cab has indeed struggled to appeal to their customers over the apps, which often offer cheaper, more convenient service. Adding to the financial troubles are a number of costly lawsuits against the company.

In a statement, the company pointed to these suits as the primary reason for the move toward bankruptcy, explaining “We have had an unusual number of accident claims recently that have forced us to consider this as an option.”

But it’s hard to divorce the news from the ongoing turf war between legacy cab companies and Uber and Lyft. The Examiner noted that taxis saw a drastic fall in average trips per month from 2012 (1,424) to 2014 (504). Good luck, Yellow Cab.

Danielle Wiener-Bronner is a news reporter.

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