How many times have you tried to hail a cab with the “FOR HIRE” light on, just to have it pass you by? Frustrating, isn’t it? Apparently, the SFMTA agrees with you!
See, the “for hire” light that you would think would denote an available taxi, doesn’t always. In actuality the light only shuts off when a taxi’s meter is running, so if a driver is doing anything else (but not working) as you wave frantically, you’re going to feel snubbed.
The MTA says they’re trying come up with a better, more explicit lighting system, and so far many suggestions have been thrown around, including one in which a green light indicates availability and a red one means just the opposite.
The SFMTA is only in the initial steps of planning and would have to not only meet with cab companies city-wide but be willing to finance what would be an approximately $100,000 project for the 1,380 cabs currently registered in SF.