Last week and today I had conversations with two City of Seattle officials, today's meeting being with an individual responsible for direct TNC, taxi, flat-rate for-hire and town car enforcement; and last Thursday's meeting, where me and four others met with the criminal division's lead prosecutor, seeking information concerning prosecutory status and other related issues. What has become clear, beyond any suspicion, is that the mayor's office is holding up all and any TNC prosecution. Just how questionable that tacit is appears clear, especially since during the 55 day mediation period, the taxi industry received over 100 citations while Uber, Lyft and Sidecar received sum zero criminal misdemeanor notifications. The contrast is startling, especially since Mayor Murray is requesting yet another "grace period" that appears to be directed again toward his TNC friends.
And what will the taxi drivers receive during this same time period? I think the answer is unfortunately obvious. The prosecutor, a perfectly nice and seemingly fair and straight-forward person, is currently seeking clarification. In the meanwhile, questions concerning TNC insurance persists, potentially setting up disastrous incidents, consequentially perhaps answering what everyone clearly understands: a dangerous situation for the passenger public persists, catastrophe and tragedy just one uninsured driver away.
Something else I found out today is that many suggested positive taxi regulatory changes have either been ignored completely or allowed to languish upon the legislative shelf. I commented this afternoon that it goes back to what I said last week concerning the lack of important governmental relationships. Doesn't the primary Seattle taxi associations understand that their existence is tenuous and situationally out-of-control? No, they do not understand.
Denver Comes For A Visit
A taxi buddy, reader of my blog from Denver dropped by yesterday while on an extended layover en route to Anchorage. He rode along for a couple hours, experiencing the _______that is my taxi-style. Loyal, though still a relative taxi rookie, is smart and tough, just the kind of guy our industry needs to battle our way back to operational sanity. Hey, thanks for saying hello!