Thursday, July 18, 2024

A Real Business Opportunity: A Tri-City Taxi Cab Company Comprising the New Mexico Cities Of Las Cruces, Deming And Silver City

A Kind of Advertisement

I am writing this as a public service for the good people living in this part of Southwest New Mexico who need and want alternative forms of transportation.  Perhaps there is ample TNC (Uber/Lyft) coverage in Las Cruces, a city of over 113,000 residents but not in Deming, population 15,000, and Silver City, just under 10,000 folks.  

Las Cruces no longer has a cab company, which makes it a logical choice to base a company serving all three cities.  El Paso, Texas, population over 677,000,  and its major airport, is only 46 miles away on I-10.  With proper promotion and advertising, I could envision a lucrative business running folks to the airport from Las Cruces and the other towns.  

How many cabs would one want to begin with?  I suggest a minimum of 10, initially basing 6 cabs in Las Cruces, and 2 each in Deming and Silver City.  For such a small company, radio-based dispatch would be adequate but making sure you have 24-dispatch coverage, if nothing else to take early morning time calls.  

As to rates, they must be competitive with Uber while covering insurance costs.  What do I think the initial cost of investment would be for 10 new cars (don't be cheap), insurance and setting up dispatch?  A minimum of $500.000.  How would the drivers get paid?  I would suggest starting off with an hourly salary plus 25% of fares in additional to any tips that the drivers would keep in total for themselves.  

Again, with proper promotion, I think anyone would recoup their initial investment within one year.  A General Manager would be necessary,  someone also serving as Cab Superintendent and Day-Time dispatcher.   I think the possibilities for success are unlimited.  My only warning is that this kind of venture is not for rookies unfamiliar with the taxicab industry.  Savvy cab veterans need only dip their toes in this kind of market.  If I won the lottery I would finance it but not run it.  Anyone but me.  

Friday, July 12, 2024

Poem Concerning The Mimbres River & Anyone Want To Start A Cab Service in Silver City, NM?

 Walking to the Rio Mimbres After a Fast, Heavy Rain---7:21 PM on a July Evening


That light!---a sunny glow illuminating bright green a leafy post-cloud burst canopy---leaves and branches damp along the path brushing my shoulders.  

A shallow reach takes me across into more woods when, suddenly ahead, a surprise in the bushy clearing---"Who is that looking at me?"---a large elk, then more, a family, perhaps thirty to forty calfs, adults, their dinner now interrupted racing, fleeing west.

Now alone but not---moist grassy scents filling nose and lungs, eyes and brain relieved, caressed by emotions minus any and all necessary thinking and talking.   

__________________________________________________

For anyone wondering what I am doing and are doing, here is an answer.  Where I am is the Mimbres River valley surrounded by high desert hills and mountains still verdant in the piercing, nearing mid-July sunshine. 

Taxi Opportunity in Silver City, New Mexico?  Not for Me but Perhaps for You

The local librarian, when finding out that I had driven cab, responded, in an almost pleading tone, 'We need taxis in Silver City."  She didn't know about the lone Uber/Lyft driver I had mentioned months ago.  Its clear some kind of local and reliable transportation would be helpful in a city of nearly 10,000 occupants.  I know nothing about local regulations or what insurance might cost.  The town has Western New Mexico University and is a tourist destination.  Housing especially is much cheaper than Seattle.  I could see how it would work.  Two cabs would be workable.  But not me, no, not me.  Maybe for you to venture in the sunny and hot New Mexico blue. 




Saturday, June 29, 2024

Short And Sour, Bitter Not Sweet, This Deranged Cabbie Is Signing Off Down the Street

Yes, folks, this could be, or is my last blog missive to the taxicab universe.  It's been fun chatting with you all but time is time and time to change my mind and life, enough of taxi cutting my inner fibers like a sharp knife.  No more fighting traffic, or telling passengers no, no, no, this is not the way I'm gonna go.  No one truly listens, either cabbie or fare, and no, brother and sister, I don't want you grabbing my underwear.  The money was good, the rest insane so now is the time to rest and resuscitate my brain.  Hello, goodbye, hello, goodbye, I depart with a sigh, with a crocodile tear in my eye.  So long taxi, not sure if it was good to know ya but I am gone minus any poetic song, not much was right with the majority wrong!

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Dennis Roberts' Last Donation To Seattle Children's Hospital & "Gypsy" Operators Hounding P-91

His Last Twenty Dollars

Dennis was well known, famous even, for his donation activities for Children's Hospital.  Going through his belongings one last time, I found $20.00.  Thinking it the most appropriate gesture, his twenty dollars was donated to the hospital.  It wasn't my money.  I couldn't keep it.  If Dennis is watching, I hope it made him happy. 

P-91 Shenanigans 

KOMO News reported that "rogue" or "gypsy" operators are grabbing cruise ship fares at P-91.  It is only news to those unfamiliar with the practice, something occurring for years at Coleman Dock, King Street Station, and Piers 66, 69 and 91.  Drivers were complaining they are losing their customers to these "eager beaver" operators.  While that isn't good, the real issue is the transportation of passengers minus insurance, endangering every one involved.  Of course regulators and enforcement officers have long been aware of this practice but what have they done to stop it?  Exactly zero is the answer.  They might protest but it's completely true.  The "gypsies" are not hiding in plain sight.  In fact they instead make themselves well known and visible, fully aware there is no one around to stop them.  When you don't care, you don't care.  Only thing stopping all this will be a fatality accident.  Short of that, nothing will change, blood on the highway perhaps gaining everyone's attention.  I can hear the wailing now but it will be too late.  Someone will die and the Port of Seattle and King County will be to blame.  Will these officials lose any sleep over it?  Hand them a pillow because we all know the answer. 

Post Script 06/20/ 2024 7:12 PM

Sorting through boxes I found a subpoena request, # 100069126, for Bellevue, Washington Police Chief Steve Mylett, dated  11/11/2020.  The subpoena was denied.  I can't remember what bullshit excuse I was provided.  The situation I was asking explanation for was the parking ticket I received for having a taxi parked on a Bellevue Street.  I remember writing about this when it happened because Bellevue has a truly outrageous law regarding taxis.  Bellevue outlaws anyone from parking their taxicab within the city limits.  Even if you own a house in Bellevue, you can not park your cab in front of the house without risk of the car being ticketed.  And insult to injury, I was dozing off in the cab, waiting for a bell when the parking enforcement officer ticketed me.  What a chickenshit act!  

Ah yes, those wonderful days driving cab!  As I wrote recently, no one told me that simply by stepping behind a cab's steering wheel, I was deemed a criminal and dalit (Untouchable).  Bellevue that autumn day underlined that, telling, minus any doubt, what I and every other cabbie are: pure garbage to be tossed away in society's rubbish bin.  Ain't it nice, not so culturally sweet sugar and spice!

The law, the City of Bellevue City code is 11.23.026:

"The operator of a for-hire vehicle shall not stop. stand, or park such vehicle upon any street at any place other than a designated taxicab stand.  This provision shall not prevent the operator of a for-hire vehicle from temporarily stopping in accordance with other stopping, standing, and parking regulations at place for the purpose of and while actually engaged in the expeditious loading and unloading of passengers.  This provision does not apply to vehicles or companies that have leases or other such agreements with the city for use of its right of way."

Who wrote this crap!  Nice to know that they will let the cab driver drop off their passengers.  This is so insulting that it is beyond belief.  

And by the way, the City of Bellevue does not have any designated taxicab stands.  Isn't that funny?


 

 

Thursday, June 13, 2024

The Reasons Why Behind The Seattle Taxi Industry's Current Deficiency And Overall Malaise

Did I, or do I think, given the opportunity shown by the Ottawa cab's class-action victory over the City of Ottawa, that Seattle's surviving taxi associations and drivers would embrace the moment, saying "Yes, we can do it too!"---righting the wrongs that were jammed down our throats?  Knowing the past 37 year history of Seattle cab and the many individuals involved, of course I knew the response would instead be apathy and denial.  The reality is that no energy or impetus exists to get this kind of class-action lawsuit into motion, even though the potential positive monetary outcome could be in the hundreds of millions of dollars. 

Then what is wrong, what is occurring in the collective brains that encompass the local taxi industry?  For the drivers, it is inertia, never competently understanding taxi's potential and how their attitudes, good and bad, affect outcomes.  For ownership, it has been a combination of greed and contentment, greed as in taking every possible dollar out minus any return back while remaining content to sit atop all the money made, the old "fat and happy" syndrome.  Even when the BYG Co-op (Seattle Yellow Cab) owners were making $1000.00 per cab per month, one multiple medallion owner pushed for even more profitability, the $200,000 plus he was raking in annually off the sweat and toil of the hardworking drivers simply not enough for him.  

Adding it all up, you get the answer as to why no one is going hold the City of Seattle accountable for their evil deeds, having freely allowed Uber and Lyft to operate illegally starting in 2012.  I care but I am only one person.  If I was remaining in Seattle, I would put some real effort to making the lawsuit a reality.  But since I am not going to be here, it is up to others to move forward.  As I just explained why, it isn't going to happen.  The assholes that nearly destroyed Seattle's taxi industry will not be held liable or made answerable for what they did.  That is the way it is going to be, full stop.  I hope you have a good and happy Summer. 

Friday, June 7, 2024

A Letter Of Apology From The Seattle Police Circa 2014 & For-Hire Drivers Lying To Chase Bank & Busy In Kyoto, Japan & What Class-Action Lawsuit?

During this month's sorting and packing for my move to New Mexico, I discovered a letter of apology I frankly forgot about.  As any Seattle cabbie will tell you, they have been targeted by the SPD for years, with too many cab drivers losing their ability to work due to a vicious campaign minus any real explanation as to why.  That's why I always have encouraged my fellow taxi comrades to be very proactive when issued a ticket.  Many who haven't gone this route are either no longer driving or paying inflated insurance rates.  

As this letter illustrates, I never gave up when I was ticketed.  Too often, like this citation, no violation occurred.  The reality is that an Uber driver was let into the intersection just before I entered, making the traffic stop even more nonsensical, without justification.  But when you are hated, this kind of crap happens.  

The apology was appreciated but it cost me money for no good reason whatsoever.  As usual, I utilized the lawyer Doug Silva to get the ticket dismissed.  When I started driving cab all those years ago, someone failed to tell me that suddenly I had become a criminal.  I didn't know it then.  I certainly know it now.  

Your Letter to SPD Police Chief, dated 10-16-14

Dear Mr. Blondo,

I have been forwarded the letter that you sent to Chief O'Toole, dated 10-16-14, where you describe an interaction you had with a SPD officer.  I am a supervisor in the PSD Traffic Section and I am very familiar with the intersection that you describe as well as the traffic patterns during Seahawk games.

I would like to apologize to you that your interaction was not a pleasant one.  I would also like to state that you were indeed correct about Yellow Cab having a contract with the Amtrak Station to pick up train customers. The officer was obviously unaware of this contractual agreement.  I have spoken to the officer and have informed him that he should have allowed you safe access into the Amtrak Station and should not have issued the citation.  I will also be addressing the issue with all the officers who will be at the traffic section roll call before the next Seahawks game.  It is my hope that this will clear up any misunderstandings and the taxis will be allowed to enter the Amtrak Station on a game day.

As far as the citation that was issued, unfortunately, it has already been processed and is not under my control.  I suggest that you avail yourself of the opportunity to see the magistrate (Option 1 or 2 on the back of the citation). Feel free to print out a copy of this email and show it to the magistrate.

Again, I apologize for the inconvenience and it is my hope that your future interactions with Seattle Police officers will be more pleasant.  Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention so that it could be corrected and will hopefully not happen again.  Please do not hesitate to call, if you have any further questions.

Sincerely,

Sergeant Richard F. O'Neill, 

Seattle Police Department, Traffic Section, Tom 3 Squad 

__________________________________________________-

Yes, a remarkable letter, marking the second I received from local police authorities.  The first came from King County Sheriff Sue Rahf, providing a personal letter of apology after one of her Metro Under-cover officers chased me while I had two passengers in the cab. I have also received a third letter from the then-acting Chief Diaz but one I never opened due to my anger over an officer's perjury.  Perhaps one day I will open it but I will never forgive the cop for lying.  That kind of venal retribution is unforgivable.

But some good news is that Sue Rahf is back in active law enforcement, as she is now the interim Seattle Chief of Police.  There she will remain until a new Chief is named.  

Very DUMB! Eastside for Hire drivers

That these six guys are still driving at Sea-Tac is beyond me.  They should be suspended if not charged with felonies.  The situation is this.  King County has informed all the renegade drivers working the airport that they must be operating beneath the legal umbrella of an association.  Of course they call knew this but were ignoring paying association dues.  KC told them to pay up or get out of the airport.  Unbelievably, six Eastside-For Hire owners got it into their brains to report their payments were somehow fraudulent, unauthorized by them.  Unreal!  This set off a bunch of disjointed reactions from Chase Bank, making a bad situation far worse.  Accounts have been frozen, etc.  While Chase admitted their errors, weeks are required to get everything back to normal.  King County regulators should not let these scoundrels get away with this.  Teach these fools a lesson they will never forget.  Suspend them. Fine them. Kick their butts!

No Rest for Kyoto Cabbies

In part due to a weaker Yen, tourists are flooding Japan with their bodies and money.  One Kyoto cabbie says he is so busy, he won't be taking any time off, making the easy money while he can.  Good move, is what I say.

Doubtful Concerning any lawsuit

Short of me winning the lottery, there will be no lawsuit against the City of Seattle and its complicity in allowing Uber to illegally operate in Seattle in the years 2012-2014.  All the Seattle cabbies (and association management) are frozen in place.  They are not moving forward.  Nothing is going to happen.





Saturday, June 1, 2024

Murder Suspect Lee Finally Charged With The Killing of Lacey Cabbie Nick Hokema & Are You Prepared To File A Class-Action Lawsuit?

Jonathan Kang Lee was Charged with the Premeditated Murder of Cabbie Nicholas Hokema

It look over five months but finally the US Army has charged the prime (and only suspect), Specialist Lee, with the murder of Lacey, Washington RediCab driver, Nick Hokema.  In addition to murder, Lee has also been charged with robbery, resisting arrest, desertion, wrongful use of a controlled substance and two counts of failure to obey a lawful order.  In the various news reports I have read, I think one of them reported that he is facing the death penalty.  Whatever the consequences, it is unlikely that Lee will ever be released from prison, having already been sentenced for 64 years for sexually assaulting two children.  Both the sexual crimes and the murder occurred off-base, making it somewhat unusual that he was tried in a military and not in a civilian court.  This trend continues.  

The news I am waiting for is the announcement of a settlement with Hokema's survivors. By not keeping Lee in custody while awaiting trial for the sex crimes, the US Army clearly holds some legal liability for Hokema's murder.  There is not any real reason why Nick Hokema isn't alive today other than the US Army's incompetence in their pretrial approach to Lee.  The Army should have known better.  And hopefully, now they do.

Is Everyone Ready to Sue the City of Seattle?

Last week's blog post concerning the Ottawa, Canada lawsuit generated some interest and readership but will it encourage active participation is something I of yet can't answer.  I believe this time we have a much more winnable issue than when we sued King County over Green Cab medallion issuance.  At least one person believes it could be viable.  I certainly believe it holds that potential.  If anyone is interested in getting together with other cabbies and talking about it, please send me an email and I will try to organize something.  jbyello@yahoo.com.  Include your telephone number.