Friday, April 11, 2014

It's 8:00 PM And All Quiet Upon A Tuesday April 8th Evening

Sometimes I will drive an extra day if I think it will be "easy money" like the Seattle American League baseball Mariner's home opener.  45,000 plus fans creates a nice foundation to work from, making money all that easier.

Initially it was like old times, fares waiting everywhere, dispatch advertising multiple big trips waiting all over the city.  My first trip took me to the airport, then soon thereafter a flag on 4th South again taking me back in that direction.  Boom! and I had $54.00 dollars.  The flurry continued up to the 7:10 PM game start time, and then, silence, all the air gone from the business balloon.  It remained quiet until about 10:20 PM, and upon the Mariner's 5 to 3 victory over the Los Angeles Angels, 45, 000 fans rushed into the night looking for rides.  My second ride out of all that confusion took me to the Eastgate Park & Ride.  After that, the celebration was over and back to sitting and staring up at the sky.  By midnight I was gassing up the cab, eight hours of pain enough for me, perhaps four falling into the "productive" category.  Sure, given my 25 plus years of taxi knowledge I could have eked out a few more dollars but why do that when sleep better translating into a far more beneficial activity.

What I am describing is what currently passes as a "good" night Monday through Thursday.  The reality is that everyone out here is barely making their $75.00 lease plus $40-60.00 in gas during a full 12-hour shift.  Fridays and Saturdays are better but try to support a family on two day's earnings.  It isn't easy.  It is not possible.

And it is in this environment that the City Council wants to add a minimum of 800 new permanent cars.  As if no one has noticed, Seattle is not close to being a 24-hour city similar to New York or Chicago.  Any thought that Seattle's present passenger base can support up to 3000 thousand cars operating 24 hours a day is living in a self-imposed fantasy.  Not only is the current plan unrealistic, it is simply immoral. 

The question I ask is simple.  Does anyone in City and County government understand what kind of situation they are creating by unwisely adding more cars than the market can sustain?  Stay posted for the answer.  Unless, like me, you clearly think you already know.  I wish it wasn't this obvious!



2 comments:

  1. Your experience here is all to similar to many days driving a cab in Baltimore. The figures and revenues that Uber & Lyft claims are a bunch of crap. $600 in a weekend, BS. And then you add that they can fire you for one bad evaluation. Why would anyone sign up . Can only be desperation. Uber taking advantage of a lousy economy and desperate people.

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