This blog documents my experience as a driver for hire in San Francisco.

I started driving for Lyft in March 2014. In May, I began driving for Uber as well. I logged almost 3,000 rides with a 4.9 rating through both platforms as a full-time driver. And I bitched about it the entire time.

In February 2015, I went to taxi school and started driving a cab.


As an erudite driver advocate, I have frequently been interviewed by news sources and been a guest on radio shows and panel discussions. While mostly pragmatic about the current transportation quagmire, I am staunchly anti-Uber and anti-Lyft.

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Besides this blog, and the one preceding it, my writing has appeared on various sites, most notably Disinfo.com and Broke-Ass Stuart’s Goddamn Website, anthologized in The Utne Reader and Your Golden Sun Still Shines: San Francisco Personal Histories, and appears each Thursday in the S.F. Examiner.


I’ve also published three zines about my experiences as an Lyft/Uber/taxi driver, which are available online in print, eBook and PDF formats.


About me:

For over fifteen years, I have been pushing print media as a writer, editor, designer and publisher. I started out doing zines and broadsides, then moved on to the harder stuff. I founded Phony Lid Books in 1999 and over the next five years, published numerous titles, including the popular Pick Pocket Book series, before I went broke and half insane.

After that, I played in a bunch of bands, started my own, worked for a movie and TV screenwriter (who gave me the best advice of my career: “Never become a screenwriter”) and peddled rare books and records online and at flea markets around LA.

Since 2010, I’ve released multiple zines under the name Piltdownlad.

I’m the author of the novel A Masque of Infamy and a discarded memoir, No Fun: How Punk Rock Saved My Life.

If you want to know more about my assorted activities, you can check out my website: www.kellydessaint.com.

Thanks for reading.


6 thoughts on “About

  1. Pingback: A Zine Review: Behind the Wheel From Uber/Lyft to Taxi – Urban Suburban Girl

  2. Pingback: A Zine Review: Behind the Wheel From Uber/Lyft to Taxi – Urban Suburban Girl

  3. Poet Dressed In Black

    I read your column in the Examiner every Friday, with my morning java, or Saturday, if I effing forget, “It’s Friday today. All Day.” Love your stories, love your writing. (I think you write tons better than Broke-Ass. Ugh, he bores me. I quit reading him. He thinks he’s a poet. I beg to differ. I know he tries, but…) Great stuff, man. Great stuff. Brilliant.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Ed Healy

    Hi, I’m Ed Healy of fleeting “The Phantom Cab Driver Phites Back” fame. Do to burn out and other interests I’m about to wrap it up. You look like you could be decent successor. Or maybe better since you have a double back ground in transportation.

    I have a question on the surge pricing thing that you might be able to answer. If you average out the surges and the lowes how do Uber and Lyft prices compare to taxi prices?

    The Soon-to-be Former Phantom

    Liked by 1 person

    1. piltdownlad Post author

      That’s unfortunate you’re wrapping up The Phantom Driver blog. It was the first blog I discovered when I began to investigate the whole rideshare thing and the consequences for taxis. I hope you’ll continue to update it occasionally, at least. I know it’s a strain to keep up with everything and blog as well.

      As far as the money goes, I make more driving a taxi. I had a hard time dealing with the injustice of surge pricing and all the scamming required to be a successful TNC driver. I just added a new blog post detailing some of my difficulties with the rideshare system:


      I wasn’t good at playing the game. I just wanted to drive. Now that I’m in a taxi, I can do that. And I’m making good money. Not as great as it used to be for taxi drivers, based on what old timers tell me, but I’m satisfied with my take home. And baseball season is right around the corner. Then summer… etc. etc. I’m very optimistic about the earning potential as I get better at driving a cab.

      Thanks for all your hard work.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Vazquezl

    Hello! I appreciate your work and I wanted to let you know that I linked to your magazine on my blog LYFTDRIVER.NET under driver resources and tips. This should help drive traffic to you and help you out. Best.

    Liked by 1 person


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