Monday, February 9, 2015

"Let There Be No Doubt In Your Mind, Nighttime Cab Driving Is Over."

The title comes from a text message sent to me Saturday night from a fellow suffering cabbie.  Even taking in the fact that winter in Seattle is traditionally slower business-wise, this season has been at times abysmally slow.  Minus all doubt, speaking of doubt, I too had little fun this past weekend, experiencing my smallest gross in a long while.  Thank the taxi gods for lower than usual gasoline, saving me over $200.00 the past two weekends.  The past two weeks I have gassed up from $1.89.9 to $2.39.9 per gallon, the price respite helping immensely. 

Like the message emanating from the taxi universe, the business downturn is upon every cabbie's tongue.  And interestingly to me, everyone accurately understands why, that being the over supply of guys hunting for fares in a limited market.  They also correctly know who is to blame, that being the dumbbell City of Seattle and King County administrators, regulators and elected officials who intentionally flooded our market with taxi-like service providers, along with of course the 1000 plus "gypsy-cab" town cars operating illegally.  Something has to "pop" because I don't see how this can continue, making little sense for all concerned.  My only question is when will the"powers-that-be" awaken to the seriousness of the situation created solely by them.  One typical cabbie opinion is that "no one is making money" meaning all of us, cabbies, flat-rate for hire, Uber drivers etc.  How is this good for anyone?  Clearly it isn't. 

And objectively, King County's administration of the taxi local industry itself is horrible.  How else can it be explained when a new driver pulls up to the Amtrak station thinking it is the "new" Greyhound bus station.  When I told him it was a few blocks south at the corner of 5th South and South Royal Brougham Way he asked, "Where's that?"  For all you non-Seattlites, South Royal BroughamWay prominently divides Seattle's NFL football and MLB American League stadiums so not knowing where Royal Brougham is essentially proves you know nothing whatsoever concerning local streets and venues, meaning you have no business sitting in a taxi until you do.  This would not be happening in London, England. 

Another sorry example this weekend was the forlorn NYC tourist I found standing early Sunday morning on the downtown Sheraton hotel stand.  Where he really wanted to go was the Sheraton Four Points motel located on Roy Street in the lower Queen Anne neighborhood but some idiot Yellow driver clearly didn't know the difference.  Who is to blame for this sorry situation, this litany of nonexistent business and drivers who don't know where they are going?  I just said it in the previous paragraphs.  Please, write to them and complain. Please!

I could add please do this before it is too late but the fact is it is already too late, time has expired and time past is now our future.  How wonderful it isn't and how long the prehistoric mimics the present is anyone's guess.  Maybe Las Vegas will take up your wager, waiting for the results a hundred years from now if even that soon.  As might be said in that Nevada desert town, "Suckers, don't hold your breath!" 

1 comment:

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