Last week there were two scheduled taxi meetings, the taxi advisory commission and the group known as TAG, the quarterly advisory group sponsored by Seattle's Office of Consumer Affairs and hosted by Craig Leisy. I and two primary members missed the commission meeting. The hope and wish and desire is that King County and the City of Seattle begin to understand that the commission as it is currently composed and formatted is dysfunctional and unworkable. My Seattle contact has not been getting back to me. I do understand that politics are involved but the situation on the commission can not be ignored, or to put it succinctly I personally will be ignoring it as I am ready to tender my resignation.
After reading the TAG minutes it is clear that my opinion that day was not completely valued (or appreciated) as my reported statements are essentially poor fiction. Here is some quick clarification. I don't like being misquoted in part because the issues are important and obfuscation at this point is silly.
During the discussion concerning the massive onslaught of new "for-hire" vehicles, those non-metered livery cabs that are being newly licensed by Seattle and King County, it is stated that I said something pertaining to "resources for consumer safely." Huh? What I really said and in some detail was that KC and Seattle have been issuing too many taxi for-hire driver licenses, thus creating this huge, unmanageable pool of drivers who literally have no taxis to drive. I reminded Mr. Leisy that I have been recommending for the past few years either a limiting or an actual moratorium on new for-hire licensing. We wouldn't want to interject commonsense into the conversation, would we?
During the discussion concerning taxi meter increases related to the L&I issue, Leisy has me saying that any rate increase would lower ridership and cause economic harm to the drivers. What I actually said was that there was a real problem of definition between the State of Washington and Seattle & King County's position of what lease drivers are or not legally. I believe that this inherent contradiction will ultimately lead to the issue being returned to the State by both the KC & Seattle councils. Leisy does not enjoy hearing this. I did say, in terms of economic impact, that with a corresponding rate increase, some drivers at Yellow could be looking at an additional cost of $3,600. dollars. Mister Leisy said that the increase would easily take care of that. An attitude like that is only generated by someone who has never driven a taxi. May a rule be made mandating that every governmental official regulating the taxi industry first do a few weeks navigating the streets in a cab. Then of course we might then have a realistic view of what is good or not for the average cabbie!
The last quote has me saying that I think everyone (all the taxis) should stay off the streets until they are drivable. Double huh! on that one. I said that Yellow and the other associations should have a "snow day" plan putting experienced drivers "on the road" to cover the business, not keep them off. The question for me in all this is why should I keep participating in these forums when clearly my opinion is not taken seriously. Yes, frustration is taking over. Why should I care when no one else does, when obviously the advisory meeting are a pretense, a journey down a dead end highway.
Mundane Taxi for a Weekend
Maybe I could and will dredge up various weekend adventures but will wait until I am in another mood. Give me sleep, give sanity, give me a peaceful moment and a pleasant cup of tea.