Those Fuzzy Pink Mustaches on Cars Actually Mean Something

I've been seeing cars driving around the city with those weird pink fuzzy mustaches on their grills for some months now.  I figured it was just a cancer protest, or maybe the automobile version of the hanky code, thereby alerting fellow motorists to honk twice for some parking lot handie or something.  But after seeing more and more of these things, my curiosity got the better of me.  So while crossing the street the other day, I spotted one of these pink mustache rides stopped at the red light and went up to the driver's window, knocked on it, and asked what's up.

Here's a brief account of the conversation, most of which the young female driver spent frantically finishing for something in her purse (mace?):

Me: Hey, what's the deal with the pink mustache thing on…

Driver: I don't have any money leave me alone!

Me: What? No, I wanna know about the mustache.

Driver (cracking her window): Oh, uh, it tells people that I'm a taxi.

Me: A what?

Driver: It's through an app called Lyft.  People say they need a ride and I go pick 'em up. Donation-based. They give me however much they think is fair to pay me.

Me: Isn't that illegal?

Driver: No. At least I don't think it is.

Me: Weird.

Driver: Dude the light is green and you're standing in the middle of traffic.

Me: Oh, right.

Anyway, now I know!

Comments (31)

The service has a built-in pickup line: “Hey babe, want a mustache ride?”

Did she think you were a panhandler? Mission residents need to dress up.

This article has singlehandedly prevented me from ripping one of these mustaches off and setting it on fire.

This doesn’t seem like it would be legal. Don’t you need either a livery or a hack license to transport paying customers? Never even mind the insurance considerations.

Yeah, because people pay lawyers to perform “due diligence” so
they can get a result they *want* to hear, not because “due diligence” is supposed to result
in anything that’s remotely legally sound.

Money well spent, innit

I’m perfectly capable to decide if I want to take a ride from a stranger or not.  Fuck legal or illegal. If I want to hitchhike, I should be allowed to, and if I decide to throw in some money for gas and the inconvenience, whose business is that buy mine?  If someone wants to pick up a hitchhiker, that is also their prerogative, not the governments.  Fuck the nanny state.

I’ve been wondering about those things for weeks as well. Thanks for the info!

Hey that’s my 3-wheeler up there, her name is Roz. She isn’t a taxi, I just have that mustache on there cause I’m silly, AND want people to know I’m NOT DPT.

That whole left thing started and I didn’t know about it. It’s funny though, Roz is pretty much a 1-seater, but people still think I’ coming to pick them up.

Cool. Thanks for the info. Ive been itchin to know whats up with these things. Theres also a big billboard on Howard at 4th I think, that has a pink mustache that says Lyft. Kinda dumb that they dont want people to get the word out.

I saw one on a Prius; I’m not that desperate for a “Lyft”.

“Gypsy cabs” have been in use as long as there has been a cab industry only now some fool thinks they brainstormed this up and there are other companies besides Lyft out there doing the same thing, they use Craigslist to solicit drivers… I actually do think this is a good thing ..for now … until SFMTA gets their claws into the money. SFMTA has practically ruined the Cab industry by forcing drivers to pay all kinds of absurd fees and making it damn near impossible for the average driver to “buy” a medallion for what is it now $80,000 so they can own their own cab much less make a decent living!

I almost took one of these tonight. Almost, I say, because the driver was obviously exploiting the whole idea. He hailed me as I crossed Mission at 24th and I was excited to finally be able to utilize the service, which I told him as I entered. I told him where I was going (Alamo Square) & asked him the driving fee. A normal taxi ride to my ‘hood costs me $12, if I’m being polite and tipping well, but he asked for $20. I told him that was an illogical amount given that he wasn’t a taxi and didn’t have to shell over any costs to a taxi company, but he wouldn’t budge. Isn’t the whole idea to make getting around the city affordable and friendly? For at least two minutes I was worried I’d have to jump out of his car while he was in motion, but thankfully he slowed down enough for me to get out… as he chided me for not being willing to pay him the twenty bucks.

It’s unfortunate that an idea so good would get exploited. Unfortunate, but not surprising. Fuck.

If someone requires a price to be paid for services rendered, then it’s not a voluntary donation, it’s a fee.

If they treat it like a taxi service, report them to Lyft for blacklisting, and the city as well. 

It’s a great way to help those who have less to work with, and to be generous to others.

It can also be a way to turn your daily commute into a carpool lane trip, at least part of the way.

Those moustaches annoy me. No wonder taxi drivers want the rates to go up.

There wont be to many of these cars on the road in a year or 2(lets hope) 1)the last thing we need is more cars in city. 2)Those stupid pink mustaches are put right over the air intake grill on most of the cars,drive like that over extended period of time and you will over heat your motor,hopefully ruining the car. Just stop being so goddamn lazy people. We want SUSTAINABLE cities but we dont want to make the hard sacrifices to make this a reality.

I see a lot of people debating the legality of the situation without considering the morality of it. Legal or not, if I want a ride someone and someone wants to give it to me, what business does anyone have giving a shit about it? The taxi industry is a fucking racket. Ever wonder why it’s so hard to get a taxi in the city? It’s because there is a limited number of licenses (medallions), not determined by need (which anyone who has been in the city on a holiday knows) but based upon the influence of the taxi industry. The taxi industry has lobbied long and hard to limit the number of licenses and raise the cost of getting one, effectively eliminating competition. Thanks be to God people always find a way to let the market adjust, hence Lyft. So even if this was fully “illegal” I would still support it, partly because the taxi companies are just strong arming the industry in their favor. If you think a taxi is any safer or better quality, you are a chump.

Transportation history includes cases where a new company cut corners, accidents and uncompensated victims.

there may be a place for uber and lyfte, but people ought to have a say since safety, the use of public streets, sunk costs in medalians, etc are involved.

What happens if there is an accident. This whole thing seems to be one legal action away from extinction.

No offense, but anyone who is a us citizen, who gives a damn what the out of controll governments and courts say, is not entitled to their freedom an liberty. The individual is first and its time for individuals to mandate a 70% reduction in government and restore liberty. Again making these United States the great Constinomal Republic we were 100 years ago

On KNX 1070 in LA today they announced that either the city or the state is looking into regulating Lyft and other similar organizations. I had previously thought the moustaches were just annoyingly stupid car accessories.

Off topic: Hey, Individual, there is no reason for your rant in this thread. Go away.

I almost got hit by one of these on the freeway. Thought it was some dumb girl trying to make her car look cute.

I’d think twice before I’d stick something on my car guaranteed to offend organized crime and/or
taxi drivers. Just sayin’

Read all the comments, REALLY surprised that NO ONE mentioned the posibility of the Pink Mustache driver using it as a way to rob/rape people! Unless their’s some intense screening involved and a photo identification plaque inside the car, I’d never use these things! All I can imagine is some Perp registering for the system, making notes on men and women they want to rob/rape LATER and writing down their address/contact information gathered from the app. Just wait and see: you’ll be hearing about it in the news!

All lyft drivers are background checked. You must have a great driving record, and no fellonies, proper insurance, a good and always clean car. They are safer, cleaner and friendlier than half the taxi rides I have had! And they don’t take cash unlike some cabbies that insist on cash only!!! Everything is done through an app on your smartphone,  you see a picture of your driver and their car, you watch them coming to you on the map. Seriously people these companies are popping up because the system needs to change! If you don’t like them you don’t have to use them! Your loss.

Just a comment on the posters. It seems everyone reads something different and many of you add and substract something that was not in the original. Than each has a thought, unlawful, lawful, either or. Take time to read the posters and see what I mean.

Y does Lyft need your credit card info to join? Thats fishy

The credit card or debit card requirement is for the safety of both the driver and the passenger. a) All drivers must pass a criminal background check and have a clean driving record. They know who their drivers are and need make sure they know who the passengers are. If something happens to a driver and you are last person known to be in that vehicile the police will know where to start looking. b) Both Lyft and Uber operate on an entirely cashless transaction platform. No need to carry cash or swipe your card. It’s simple and efficient. Not to mention cheaper, safer and more reliable than a smelly 10-year old taxi. You can track your drivers ETA through the app. Also, your credit card information is completely private and secure. Only the last for digits of your card are visible in your user profile.

Seriously hope everyone with a mustache cancer and aids discoveries on the same “check-up” just another want to pimp yourself out.  Sad people with herpes usually drive these kinds of ideas.

jack@ss, how much have you had to drink. Or, is english not your first language?

Part of the reason for medallions is to restrict traffic congestion!