One Thing Is Clear: Less Driving Time
The biggest positive is the distance traveling from the initial ride request to the pickup address, usually one to three blocks, the Uber app enabling me to pick up the fare in 1-3 minutes, and sometimes less than a minute. With Seattle Yellow taxi, the pickup address, especially in outlying areas, can be 5-10 miles, taking an average of 8-15 minutes to arrive. This is both tiring and wasteful of time, money and gasoline. The quick Uber response time also makes for happier passengers. More and more tips are coming my way despite the more-or-less 40 % higher fare than competing taxi rates. Passengers don't like waiting. As I have said, the Seattle Yellow Taxi response times often were 30-60 minutes, which is completely unacceptable. Who wants to wait in the rain and cold? No one unless you are an otter or beaver but being good swimmers, they neither require Uber or taxi. They have better things to do than stand on a city corner, instead eating calms or chewing on branches. They're smarter that way.
And before I forget, another plus is, at least so far, the complete absence of druggies, hookers, minor criminals, etc. Obviously the social-economic class using Uber is different. They can afford, or don't mind paying the extra money. Now though I always have, and always will treat every passenger with respect and care, I have never enjoyed the BS and madness some customers bring into my car. While understanding full well taxi is often nuts, I have never embraced the insanity. It's no fun dealing with psychosis.
Puget Sound Dispatch Fantasyland
Unfavorable comments from cabbie friends tells me beyond any doubt that PSD (Seattle Yellow Cab) management has lost connection with taxi reality, acting like they are back in the year 2003 and not 2023. Two previous discussions the past few months with PSD's general manager certainly made me suspect whether he (and PSD) understood that Yellow Cab, and the industry in general were operating in a dream-like landscape, mistaking their dream state for actual waking reality.
The reality is this: Seattle's local taxi industry is on the verge of collapse, and to think otherwise is foolish. This imbecility is taken further by PSD now insisting that Yellow's single owner operators adhere to unreasonable standards set by the MV Metro Access account or be fined $50.00. There are too many things wrong with this to list but there can only be two correct responses.
Either PSD stops capitulating to unnecessary MV dictates or all of Yellow's drivers should stop taking MV fares, removing that account from their digital account profile. Only by striking against MV will PSD emerge from its slumber and realize who is actually in charge: the 240 plus cabbies working at Yellow and not PSD. PSD died when the BYG Co-op disappeared, PSD forgetting to attend their own funeral. It's now up to Yellow's independent owner/operators to complete the burial. As was I telling a friend, it is now completely paramount that he and the other drivers demand complete financial transparency for PSD. They need to know how THEIR money is being spent. And that fees demanded by PSD must go down.
Figuring it out, I realized that I was spending over $18,000 each year operating YC 1092 before I made a dime in real profit. That's crazy, translating in over 600 hours at $30.00 per hour to make that $18,000. None of this is funny. None of this makes any real sense unless of course you are sleeping and never interested in rejoining the waking world. Hibernation is good for bears but even they emerge from their dens. Awaken and smell the Spring taxi flowers!
More Taxi Association Creation Tips
Talking to a longtime taxi buddy yesterday, he lamented that it is impossible to get his fellow drivers to cooperate about anything, not seeing how it is possible to "get these guys" to agree to forming a new association. And yes, I replied, dealing with cabbies is like trying to "herd cats," and cats possibly more pliable that cab drivers. But if the incentive is money---paying less and making more---I am sure most would be interested.
Anyone can start doing the necessary footwork by picking up your telephone and dialing. First call an insurance agency like Key and ask them what would the group rates be for say, two thousand associated drivers all with perfect or nearly unblemished drivers records? It is gonna be cheap.
The next call to make is to professional USA-based callcenters. While eventually your association would want to have their own Seattle-based dispatch, it would be much easier to begin with an outsourced call center. Make sure your estimates include 24/7 dispatch because with such a large cab association you will be busy 24/7, your cheaper rates and fast pickup times making you extremely popular. And of course you would be advertising that fact, having money for publicity now that company/association profits aren't being siphoned off by the PSD Board of Directors.
Contact big auto repair shops like Guru and ask what kind of rates would they provide you to repair and service a 2000 plus taxi fleet. You can bet they would be overjoyed to have such a steady customer base.
More later when I am less tired.
Why Am I Tried? The Living Death that is Taxi
Today I weighted myself and I was shocked to find I was 196! pounds. My normal average weight has mostly been 155-160 pounds. While I hold my weight well, 40 pounds over is no joke and I am getting serious about losing it. I am tired because I played some 3 on 3 basketball today, in addition to taking my usual long walk. It was fun and I actually played well at times.
For those who don't know, I started playing when I was ten and started my first organized game at age 13. No that long ago I once played 2 hours a day or more 6 days a week. But more recently I have allowed taxi to make me fat, even after watching my diet.
And that's the sorry truth about driving cab. It's damn unhealthy. What I have been experiencing is a cycle of my weight going up and down. When I have taken a long break, I get thinner. Start driving again and I bloat out. Now I am determined to lose the pounds, watching the calories and getting much more vigorous exercise. At age 69 I can't play games with my body. The same is for you. Don't let taxi or Uber kill you. It will if you let it. Have no doubt whatsoever about that. I remember when Bob, the ex-cop who was driving Yellow Cab, stopped at a White Center grocery store, and just made it to a bench before dying next to his cab from a heart attack. No, you don't want that to happen to you! Not at all.