San Francisco Green Cab is a worker-owned, all-hybrid taxi service that was started in 2007 by eight drivers with a single Toyota Prius. When the start-up needed additional capital to expand, LEAF provided eight successive loans amounting to a combined total of $248,600 that has allowed the cooperative to grow its fleet to 19 cars and create 60 new jobs in an area where incomes are 47% of the median. Green Cab is located in a low-income Investment Area and the vast majority of its drivers are very low-income at the time of hire. Over 50% of the driver-owners are immigrants and all participate in profit sharing and voting rights.
Work place democracy was important to Green Cab’s member-founders and LEAF’s experience with cooperatively-owned businesses made it a perfect match. “LEAF was there for us,” says Joe Mirabile, a Green Cab cofounder. “They’re true to their principles of funding local, progressive organizations.” Green Cab’s progressivism is evident not only in their ownership structure, but also in their environmental commitment. All Green Cab taxis are low-emission hybrid vehicles and the company purchases carbon offsets, making it a zero carbon footprint company. The offset funds go toward a conservation program in Brazil’s Amazon Rainforest.
Green Cab’s Mission Statement embodies the community-owned business ethos LEAF seeks to promote: “To provide safe, courteous, efficient and reliable taxi service, in an environmentally responsible manner, through a worker-run company, democratically organized and operated on the principle of equitably shared rights, rewards and responsibilities, in a safe industry haven where workers can speak and act in their own behalf without fear of retaliation or punishment.”
Download our info sheet about SF Green Cab.
“LEAF was very supportive from the beginning…..As our company grows we look to LEAF not only as a financing source but as a partner.”
—Joe Mirabile, SF Green Cab