Tuesday, September 4, 2012
The Taxi Natives Are Indeed Restive
Just a handful of drivers in the cashier line today made it extremely clear that a rebellion is brewing. Those bitter few were evidence enough that without cooler heads prevailing ugliness could ensue, the issue quickly taking a dangerous turn. The solitary topic were all those "for-hire" drivers picking up on Seattle streets this Labor Day weekend. Post University of Washington Huskies football game there they were in full force, operating in full view obviously unafraid of any kind of enforcement. As I have noted previously passengers are accepting their presence as legitimate taxis, showing no hesitation upon entering their vehicles. The cabbies today were rightfully furious. They have had enough and so have I of a situation gone feral as clearly it is going to take a major intervention to prevent further intrusion into our customer base. The open question is who is going to provide the effort necessary to bring this festering problem to a logical and permanent conclusion? It is difficult to see, despite Seattle's renewed and avowed intervention how local government alone will resolve the ongoing conflict given they were the culprits who created this issue. Somehow, in whatever manner necessary we in the local taxi community must begin taking the lead. I will not at all be surprised that it all ends in a class-action suit against the City of Seattle and King County. This plague of locusts is their doing. All I ask during the course of the next year is that everyone please understand that the new for-hire industry has also been victimized. Clearly the for-hire licenses were released minus any planning by Seattle or KC concerning just how these new businesses would operate and sustain themselves. I will soon be requesting the City and County market and impact studies. Frankly I don't believe they exist. To say that their actions have been sloppy would be kind. How can the City of Seattle require taxi licensees to form associations yet release for-hire vehicle licenses to single operators? Seattle's mess is now our inheritance. Soon you should be seeing a petition. Sign it. And remember only one signature per driver. To win we must at all times remain professional. Once there are one thousand to fifteen hundred signatures copies will be made and separate sets will be delivered to both the city and county councils and the mayor and the county executive. If we remain united and organized we will be victorious. Don't despair. Instead move relentlessly forward, army ants marching in unison. Patience and virtue will win the taxi day!