A temporary taxicab stand installed near AT&T Park to accommodate the thousands of baseball fans attending the San Francisco Giants’ post-season games seems to be a home run for cab drivers and customers utilizing the stand.
The stand, located at Third and King streets, was installed as a temporary convenience for seniors, the disabled, and out-of-town fans, and it is proving to be a boon for cab drivers.
Supporters said the stand’s location allows drivers easy access to and from the often-congested ballpark area, which was swarming with fans this week as the Giants beat the Texas Rangers twice at home to take a 2-0 lead in the World Series.
“Third Street is better for getting people in and out,” said Lee Houskeeper, a spokesman for the taxi stand campaign.
Business is booming in particular for Luxor Cab, and the company is now spearheading the effort to make the stand a permanent fixture.
“It’s going very, very well,” Luxor Cab manager Marty Smith said.
“It’s new … I think the drivers have to get used to it.”
Smith is reaching out to other San Francisco cab companies to urge them to use the stand. Many drivers avoid the area because of bus lanes and congestion, he said.
An existing cab stand at King and Second streets is much less convenient than the temporary option, Smith said.
At the existing stand, drivers are forced to turn onto busy Second Street, where they often battle 15-30 minute traffic jams and heavy pedestrian traffic, he said.
Cab customers tend to get upset sitting in traffic while the meter is ticking away, Houskeeper said.
Cab drivers can also get a ticket of up to $85 for pulling into bus zones to pick up customers, Smith said.
Coupled with the cost of gas, an $85 ticket could wipe out a whole day’s pay for drivers, Smith said.
“We notified every cab company in the city that these stands were available,” Smith said, adding that he’s seen a few other cab companies using the stands, including Yellow Cab. “A lot of them are scared of the tickets.”
The stand is nearly the length of the entire block on the east side of Third Street between Townsend Street and King Street – from Happy Donuts to the driveway at McDonald’s.
Luxor Cab’s business has experienced a “tremendous increase” with the Giants’ success in the World Series, Smith said.
“We’re bringing in a lot of folks from Texas,” Smith said. “There has to be at least a couple thousand of them here.”
Smith said tourists often opt for cabs since they aren’t familiar with local public transportation.
He said he hopes the cab stand will continue to be utilized for games and other attractions at the park.
For now, the stand will provided on a trial basis for this season, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency spokesman Paul Rose said last week.
Rose said the agency would wait and see before making a long-term decision about the stand.
The Giants will take on the Rangers in Texas for Game 3 of the World Series on Saturday and Game 4 on Sunday. If the series continues to Game 5, the Giants will return to their home turf.
“Maybe we won’t need a cab stand,” for Game 6, Houskeeper said.
“Maybe we’ll take it in Texas.”