Monday, December 16, 2013

"I Don't Want To Hear Anything More About Taxi For the Next Thirty Years!"

That quote is from "she-who-can't-be-named" who has had enough of taxi, or more precisely, my too many years involvement in this not quite sane profession.  How can I disagree with her?  I too am tired of a repetitious story chanting known themes.  Last Friday's Seattle City Council hearing echos in my mind, still disbelieving they remain unaware their newest proposal would destroy the industry locally.

At the hearing itself and in an email, I have asked the Seattle City Attorney's office to intervene.  What started over three years ago as the needless introduction of the "for-hire" licenses to our market continues in the renegade invasion known as Lyft, Uber-X and Sidecar.  We require some answers.  I will report to you as soon as I have them.

My only hope is that finally we in the taxi industry are united against a threat that can ultimately destroy the livelihoods of thousands.  The difference between us and the ride-share drivers is basic. This is our profession, not some kind of economic hobby supplementing an outside income.  I believe it all comes down to respect, or clearly the lack of it.

The Never-Ending Scenario  

Getting in the taxi he first needs me to break his 100 dollar bill so he could finish whatever transaction he was conducting.  Returning, his first request is a flat rate.  Refusing that, we continue to Burien but he will not or can not tell me precisely where we are going.  This does not stop him from every few blocks telling me to "keep going." 

After a few of these directives I tell him he has to stop while he steadfastly refuses to say where exactly we are going.  Entering the heart of Burien at South 148th and Ambuam South I ask him again again just where are we going, saying I have to know.  He had said "there were some children waiting" making it strange he didn't know where his children were. I no longer trusted that this ride was in anyway normal.

"Oh now you want directions?" he snaps.  With that response I tell him to "Just get out! and he does, understanding I've had enough, eating the $14.00 dollars on the meter.  It's good I can be intimidating, cutting short trouble. 

Just what was this fellow's agenda?   Nothing good is all I know, nothing good taking me for a ride.  As I keep telling such clowns like this guy over and over again, "I am a taxi driver, not a social worker!" but they continue to not believe me though I think this particular person began to get the correct picture.  He was afraid of me.  Good!  Again, welcome to the fun and games that is taxi.


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