The whole thing was a giant protest against SFO recently striking a deal with Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar to allow the ride-sharing companies to operate on airport grounds. The rise of such companies doesn't bode well for the taxi industry and up until the aforementioned deal was struck, SFO was a place where taxis could still find a lot of business because the ride-sharing companies weren't allowed to operate in the airport without the proper permits. Now that the situation has been resolved, cab drivers and companies are none too happy.
Hansu Kim, the president of the DeSoto Cab Company, recently remarked that the San Francisco taxi industry might not exist in eighteen months. It's easy to see why the arrive and popularity of services like Uber and Lyft could spell trouble for cab companies, and I'm far from an expert on this subject, but isn't this just business? Maybe the traditional idea of the taxi cab is evolving. The popularity of ride-sharing services suggests that they're offering a better product and I can't imagine that this could be a fad of any sort. This is just how on-demand public transportation works now. It may be the end of the era, but that's never necessarily a bad thing. If Kim is right and the taxi industry is phased out, hopefully the further rise of Uber, Lyft, and the others will create enough driver demand to offset the jobs lost.