Having just arrived back mere hours ago from our Idaho & Oregon car-trip, my day driver alerted me to an Evan Bush written Seattle Times article announcing that Eastside and the Port of Seattle finalized their five-year $22.5 million contract last week. So despite all rumors and hand-wringing, the new agreement is going forward. Factually put me down as completely surprised that the agreement truly went forward, understanding as I do taxi economic realities. The article notes that the contract requires that 75 % of vehicle operators are previous Yellow Cab operators, thus ensuring that most will survive though under different colors.
The Port's message behind these actions are clear and blatantly obvious. That they cared about the current Yellow independent operators and their families while repudiating the Yellow Taxi-Cab Association rings through its decision making. Call it muted revenge or being knocked upon the head by the proverbial Velvet hammer. That this is one big economic headache for Yellow should not be underestimated. If anyone is considering buying a taxi medallion, the time is now. Before I left on the 12th I was told of a 2009 Prius and City of Seattle medallion going for $30,000. Not a bad deal, and I predict they will only get better.
One reason amongst many for this is exemplified by statistics presented in the article, stating that in August of this year 70,115 people utilized Uber and Lyft while taxis carried 72, 479 riders, representing a 16.6 percentage decline in ridership from last August 2015. Depressing but you get what you get. Over two 1/2 years ago Yellow declined to hire me as the then GM's special assistant. My taxi buddies know that we would now be looking at a different taxi landscape if that had occurred, our various lawsuits just about now coming to fruition. Instead of roadkill, we would instead be running down the road like those wonderful pronghorn antelope we saw running up and down the hills of Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge in southeastern Oregon. They can maintain a constant speed of 45 MPH, one fast and beautiful animal.
Taxi Sucks in Boise?
When gassing up in Boise, Idaho I talked to a cabbie (six years on the taxi road) who was grabbing something cold in the 80 plus F. heat. You know his reply.