Understanding SFMTA’s Taxi Ramp Taxi Services for Accessibility


San Francisco, a city known for its diverse transportation options, has made significant strides in ensuring accessibility for all its residents and visitors. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) has been at the forefront of this effort, particularly through its Ramp Taxi Program, which aims to provide reliable and convenient wheelchair-accessible taxi services throughout the city.

Key Points

  • The SFMTA Ramp Taxi Program is crucial in ensuring accessible transportation for individuals with mobility challenges in San Francisco.
  • Technology, such as the Flywheel app, has greatly enhanced the accessibility and convenience of booking wheelchair-accessible taxis.
  • San Francisco’s commitment to accessible transportation is evident through its comprehensive network of ramp taxis, public transit, and paratransit services.

Understanding Taxi Ramp Services in San Francisco

The SFMTA Ramp Taxi Program

The SFMTA Ramp Taxi Program was established to ensure that individuals with disabilities have equal access to taxi services in San Francisco. The program’s primary objective is to provide a reliable and efficient means of transportation for those who use wheelchairs or have other mobility challenges.

Wheelchair Accessible Taxis in San Francisco

San Francisco has a fleet of wheelchair-accessible taxis, also known as ramp taxis, which are equipped with ramps or lifts to accommodate passengers using wheelchairs or mobility devices. These taxis can be easily requested through various methods, including:

  • Hailing on the street
  • Calling a taxi dispatch service
  • Using the Flywheel app, which allows users to request a ramp taxi specifically

Taxi Companies Offering Ramp Services

Several taxi companies in San Francisco offer ramp taxi services, ensuring that passengers have a choice when it comes to selecting a provider. Some of the major companies include:

  • Yellow Cab
  • Luxor Cabs
  • Desoto Cab

These companies strive to maintain a reliable fleet of wheelchair-accessible vehicles and provide prompt, courteous service to their passengers.

Technology and Accessibility

Electronic Hailing and Taxi Apps

The advent of electronic hailing and taxi apps has revolutionized the way people book and access taxi services, and this is particularly true for those seeking wheelchair-accessible rides. Apps like Flywheel have made it easier than ever to request a ramp taxi, allowing users to specify their needs and track their ride in real-time.

SF Paratransit Debit Card and Its Benefits

The SF Paratransit Debit Card is a convenient payment method for those who frequently use ramp taxi services in San Francisco. This prepaid card can be used to pay for taxi fares, eliminating the need to carry cash or worry about payment processing. The debit card system also allows users to easily track their expenses and manage their transportation budget.

Rates, Regulations, and Rights

San Francisco Taxi Rates and Fare Calculator

Taxi rates in San Francisco are regulated by the SFMTA and are consistent across all taxi companies. The current rates are as follows:

  • First one-fifth mile (“flag rate”): $3.50
  • Each additional one-fifth mile or fraction thereof: $0.55
  • Each minute of waiting or traffic time delay: $0.55
  • SFO Exit surcharge: $4.00

To estimate the cost of a taxi ride, passengers can use online fare calculators or refer to the rates posted in each taxi.

San Francisco Transportation Code and Taxi Medallions

The San Francisco Transportation Code sets forth the rules and regulations governing taxi services in the city, including requirements for wheelchair accessibility. Taxi medallions, which are permits issued by the SFMTA, are required for all taxis operating in San Francisco. The SFMTA closely monitors the industry to ensure compliance with accessibility regulations and to maintain high standards of service.

Rights and Protections for Users

Passengers using wheelchair-accessible taxis in San Francisco have certain rights and protections under the law. These include:

  • The right to equal access and service
  • Protection against discrimination based on disability
  • The right to file complaints if they experience poor service or discrimination

If a passenger wishes to file a complaint about a taxi service in San Francisco, they can contact the SFMTA’s Mobility Management Center or call 415.351.7000.

Exploring San Francisco

Mobility Device Transportation Options

San Francisco offers a range of transportation options for individuals using mobility devices, ensuring that they can easily navigate the city. In addition to ramp taxis, these options include:

  • SF Access Van Service: A shared-ride, door-to-door paratransit service for ADA-eligible individuals
  • Public transportation: Many of San Francisco’s buses, streetcars, and metro lines are wheelchair-accessible

Accessible Public Transportation in San Francisco

San Francisco’s public transportation system, operated by the SFMTA, is designed to accommodate individuals with disabilities. Key features include:

  • Wheelchair-accessible buses and metro lines
  • Ramps and lifts on streetcars and cable cars
  • Audible announcements and visual displays for passengers with hearing or visual impairments

The combination of accessible public transit and ramp taxi services ensures that individuals with mobility challenges can fully explore and enjoy all that San Francisco has to offer.

Exploring San Francisco by Taxi

Ramp taxis provide a convenient and comfortable way for individuals with disabilities to explore San Francisco’s many attractions, landmarks, and neighborhoods. Some tips for using ramp taxis to navigate the city include:

  • Planning ahead and booking a taxi in advance for popular destinations or during peak hours
  • Communicating any specific needs or requirements to the taxi dispatcher or driver
  • Familiarizing yourself with the taxi rates and payment options, such as the SF Paratransit Debit Card

With the help of wheelchair-accessible taxis, passengers with mobility challenges can experience the best of San Francisco, from the iconic Golden Gate Bridge to the vibrant neighborhoods of the Mission and Castro.


What is the SFMTA Ramp Taxi Program?

The SFMTA Ramp Taxi Program is an initiative designed to provide reliable and accessible taxi services for individuals with disabilities in San Francisco. The program ensures that a portion of the city’s taxi fleet is equipped with ramps or lifts to accommodate passengers using wheelchairs or mobility devices.

How can I book a wheelchair-accessible taxi in San Francisco?

You can book a wheelchair-accessible taxi in San Francisco by:

  • Hailing a ramp taxi on the street
  • Calling a taxi dispatch service and requesting a ramp taxi
  • Using the Flywheel app and specifying that you need a wheelchair-accessible vehicle

What should I do if I have a complaint about a taxi service in San Francisco?

If you have a complaint about a taxi service in San Francisco, you can contact the SFMTA’s Mobility Management Center or call 415.351.7000. Be prepared to provide details about the incident, including the taxi company, driver’s name or badge number, and the date and time of the occurrence.

How does the SF Paratransit Debit Card work?

The SF Paratransit Debit Card is a prepaid card that can be used to pay for taxi fares in San Francisco. To use the card, simply present it to the taxi driver at the end of your ride. The fare will be automatically deducted from your account balance. You can add funds to your card online or by contacting the SFMTA.

Are all taxis in San Francisco required to be wheelchair accessible?

While not all taxis in San Francisco are required to be wheelchair accessible, the SFMTA mandates that a certain percentage of each taxi company’s fleet must be equipped with ramps or lifts. This ensures that there are always wheelchair-accessible taxis available for those who need them. The SFMTA continues to work towards increasing the number of accessible taxis in the city.


About the author

Krystal Collins is deeply immersed in the San Francisco community, embracing its vibrant culture and adventurous spirit. As an active participant in the city’s diverse neighborhoods and outdoor scene, she brings authoritative insights into San Francisco’s rich cultural heritage, lively parks, scenic beaches, and distinct neighborhoods. Her first-hand experiences with transportation, local dining, and community events provide her with an authentic understanding of daily life in the city.