Tuesday, November 1, 2011
I Was Wrong. L & I Impact Upon the Lease-Driver
I have a quick apology to make. I have been telling anyone who asked that the pending L&I decision would not have an immediate impact upon the lease-driver. I was wrong, completely wrong. If the rate of $380.00 per car per month holds up (though I don't believe it will), then the shift rate will be increased by $10.00 per shift. For instance, a week day (M-F) day-shift at Yellow, when a driver has a NPG (natural gas) powered vehicle, he/she will be paying a total of $100. per shift when the $15.00 "green vehicle surcharge" is added on. For all of us who knows just how hard it can be to earn a taxi dollar, does L&I understand just what that means on a January or February or March morning when nothing is occurring anywhere and the mere making of your lease and gasoline (or natural gas) is a small miracle. This is why it is imperative that the L&I rate becomes a figure that will not bankrupt the industry. Make no mistake, this kind of translation is unavoidable. Whatever the final decision is, the cost will be transferred to the lease-driver. Another factor to also remember is that the cost will also be transferred to the taxi customer as an increased meter rate, changing from 1/10 per mile to 1/9 per mile. It is the unavoidable taxi food chain. One major fear of course is that there will be fewer passengers or that a percentage of the customer base will use "for-hire" vehicles instead. None of this bodes well in the short term. That is why it will be extremely helpful if you begin contacting L&I and voice your displeasure. In a future posting, perhaps later today, I will provide a list of important email adresses.