Tuesday, December 30, 2014

$185.50 For-Hire Renewal Fee: A Slap In The Face? & Alphonse Bertillon's Biometics

Operating from the understanding that I needed to renew my for-hire license a full month before expiration, I rushed down to the King County office Monday afternoon only to discover it was unnecessary, and regardless, I was late, 3:00 PM the cutoff for renewals.  A new fingerprinting policy requiring an annual fingerprinting of all ten digits explains the limited time frame.  Commenting that making everyone go through the demeaning process yearly was nonsensical I was told that fingerprints change as the body ages.  News to me and probably you too.  My understanding is that fingerprints have been used for determining identity due to their permanence, without question saying you are you but there was a time when an altogether different kind of system was in place, one commonly used by police forces in the late 19th Century.

A system of anthropomentry, or the physical measuring of the head and face created by the French police inspector, Alphonse Bertillon (1853-1914), was the first system unitized to positively identify a previously arrested suspect.  Bertillon would carefully measure the nose and ears and the dimensions of the head in the belief they were infallible, determining who you are minus any and all changes, this before the practice of modern plastic surgery evolved allowing criminals to deceive the less than perceptive human eye.  Bertillon's theory eventually gave way to the certainty of fingerprints which brings me back to my original question of why do I and everyone else have to be subjected to something making no sense whatsoever.  Does anyone in City and County  government truly believe that someone would go to the expense and effort to have their finger tips surgically altered so they could drive a taxi?  When can we stop laughing?

Ignoring all bureaucratic rationalizations, the real reason, given my long experience in the business, is that the City of Seattle's administrators basically despise us, and this insult, along with an astronomical renewal fee of $185.50, telling me they will do everything within their legal power to harass an industry they would prefer to disappear, replacing us with Uber minions subservient to arrogant billionaires.  While the mayor's new ordinance requires all taxi, flat-rate and TNC drivers to hold for-hire driving licenses, I see it as a democratic ploy disguising the obvious, subsuming criticism, mimicking the old "Jim Crow" equal but separate policies of apartheid-era South Africa and the American southern states in the 1940s and 50s.  I guess we should we thankful we can all use the same restrooms. 

The storyline could not be simpler. The City of Seattle doesn't like the cabbies and that's the way it is and it will be staying that way for the conceivable future.  You see, we make them uncomfortable, and one very clear defining feature of the upper-middle class is comfort, a life philosophy replacing their parent's Christian religiosity, requiring an sanitary and easily explained sensibility quite opposite that messy and chaotic and anarchistic world called taxi driving..  An inspector visited the train station this weekend, telling drivers to wash their cabs.  And this after ignoring Uber's and the flat-rate industry's illegal operations over a three-year span, endangering the passenger public by allowing carriers with little to no insurance.  That was okay but for the bad cabbies, you must  wash those dirty cabs or else!  Yes the City of Seattle definitely has its priorities in order.  And we, the hardest working transportation sector in the Seattle, clearly aren't one of them.

She-Who-Can't-Be-Named Laughs!

Any regular reader of this blog is by now familiar with that very important woman in my life, "she-who-can't-be-named" who knows almost as much about crazy taxi as I do, having been a close observer since 1989.  Her response, "That's ridiculous!" was telling when I sent her the link to the Seattle Times' December 25th, 2014 Alexa Vaughn article, "Seattle Yellow Cab on the Comeback Path."  I emailed Alexa, thanking her for writing a reasonably accurate article but "she-who-can't be-named" is having no part of that.  She loves me and hates taxi.  I can't disagree with that.  I respect Alexa Vaughn much for her prose style, unusually literate and coherent for a local rag but I am still simmering that she made me pay for my own bagel!  Seattle Times must be on a tight budget or something like that, Alexa I am sure barely paid above minimum wage.  Maybe one of those too highly paid Seahawks will provide her a stipend.  That would be nice, taxi and reporter heroes making about one percent of what NFL players do, everyone ignoring our related touchdowns.  Yah, Yah team!

Very Local News: Tina Now at the Airport

Due to some internal restructuring, Jerry D. has returned to the Yellow Cab lot, while Tina takes over his position supervising all those incorrigible Sea-Tac drivers.  While perhaps a somewhat startling choice, Tina, who has been in the business longer than I have, should do fine whipping those rowdy fellows into taxi shape.  Her great sense of humor will greatly assist.  And there will be no fooling Tina, I can tell you that!

Jerry's new role will be to manage driver behavior, setting them on the taxi straight and narrow.  Good luck Jerry, because as the saying goes, he's gonna need it, us cabbies a feral bunch chewing on raw bones, or at least I think that is the general consensus of all those folks sitting up there in City Hall.  Maybe they will begin sending us a weekly ketchup ration, meaning we might finally get something of value in return for our hard earned (cash only!) S185.50, the City not taking a cabbie's check.  We would appreciate it!  And oh, some napkins too, please!

Editorial Note:

Monsieur Bertillon is somebody I have been aware of since 1964, having read about him in my World Book "Child Craft" series, perhaps the most influential set of books of my entire life, if not my childhood.  That early 60s edition is wonderful but unfortunately hard to find.  I still have my original set.  I was ten at the time and can still visualize the illustrations of measured heads and faces.  Anybody wish to measure my nose?

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A Washington State Patrol Call At Northeast 92nd & North-Bound I-5

One bane of long-time taxi driving is the tedium.  If variety is the spice, repetition is the bland and mundane, plying the same streets to well known destinations I could reach blindfolded or nearly so, pinning the tail upon the address donkey.  I hate, and will always despise that the money takes precedent over personal interactions but for me I can't deny that business, above all else, reigns paramount to all other possible considerations.  I  can't say that I don't like the majority of my passengers, because I do, sometimes treasuring the ephemeral intimacy that is the five to twenty minute cab ride.  Perhaps if I viewed taxi as a career, I would embrace it more passionately and comprehensively but having always seen it as at best temporary, I remain uncommitted to the experience.  It is only when the unusual occurs do I suddenly awaken and appreciate the  myriad opportunities taxi offers.  And picking up at the aftermath of a large, multi-vehicle accident is indeed very different and compelling, gaining my full attention, holding elements usually not present.  Pulling up to flashing lights and a wreckage strewn roadway contains a high drama and dynamic evoking tragedy and consequence and the most dire human circumstances, communicating above anything else the fragility of blood and our beating hearts, knowing that in a sharp terrifying moment life instantly, and forever, vanishing into the metaphysical mist. 

A general request had been put out over the tablet requesting a cab at the accident site.  Understanding it wasn't possible piercing a two-mile long stoppage, I drove north along the parallel "express lanes" until I arrived at the carnage, broken glass and twisted metal spread across the roadway.  A WSP officer approached telling me my five passengers would be with me soon.  Rain fell as other officers took measurements and photographs, recording the finer details. Clearly something major had happened but only later did I discover that an impromptu car race initiated what I had found, a WSP car chasing two racers having spun out of control, striking the medium barrier.  Another responding officer stopped to assist, only to have his car struck by a drunk driver whose own errant vehicle ricocheted into yet other drivers creating the mess everyone was now attempting to clean up and get past on the shortest and darkest day of the year.

After about ten minutes a Chinese family jammed into 478 and I drove them to a Lynnwood motel.  The young woman sitting in the front seat clearly was traumatized and now barely able to speak, having been behind the wheel of her family's now demolished car.  The two young men were giddy, somehow compensating for an obvious tension and sorrow. An older woman, maybe the mother, paid me with a warm thanks, with another daughter wishing me a Merry Christmas. 

I sat afterwards assessing my own emotions, I too somehow stunned by what I saw., life, and accompanying death, or in this case, near death fully communicating our transitory state.  Yes I might be bored but I remain intact and breathing, which is something to be thankful for.  Today I finally received "she-who-can't-be-named" tardy hand-created birthday card, reminding that at least one person still appreciates my continued presence.  Last Thursday was my 61st birthday.  Hopefully I will see my next.  The greatest present  I could receive would be to be permanently out of the cab and reading and writing to a larger audience.  My body and mind tells me it is past time to awaken to a book and hot pot of tea and talk and think about anything but taxi, that too reliable depression taking me down and away.  It will be a wonderful morning not stepping in a cab and wondering where  my next fare might be hiding.  I have done my time. There is nothing else to say about it.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Breaking A Sacred Covenant

For those not familiar, the word or term "covenant" means an agreement, or more formally, a solemn compact between persons or parties.  It can even be taken to be contractual, an agreed upon course of action taking both respondents to a mutually acknowledged destination or end.  Covenants take various forms, be they signed and notarized or simply mutually understood.  A marriage vow is a good example, bonding two souls in holy matrimony.  Two important examples taken from Webster's Collegiate Dictionary's 1941 Fifth Edition, one validating Scottish Presbyterianism in 1643, called the "National Covenant" which opposed English or Royal episcopacy (King Henry VIII's argument with Pope Clement VII and the establishment of the Anglican Church);  and another, from 1919, the post-WWI "Covenant of the League of Nations," (President Woodward Wilson's grand scheme), richly illustrate how important the concept is taken and accepted.  And equally, when an agreed or assumed covenant is broken or maligned, all hell breaks loose, releasing untold dire consequences.  Bad things happen, and too often chaos and anarchy reigns, grinding foundational expectations into dust.

Clearly, in regards to the taxi industry, locally this has occurred, Seattle having seen the breaking and destroying of a fundamental covenant between the City of Seattle and its regulatory relationship with the major taxi associations and the thousands of single owners and lease-drivers dependent upon official and implied guidance. A further erosion of trust has simultaneously occurred on the association level between company and drivers. These betrayals shout out a gross injustice that will not and can not be quickly mended.  The fabric is torn, a cold wind chilling us to the bone, freezing wallets and expected incomes. Both covenants are intertwined,the municipal and the taxi association, each mirroring the other, but as recent events have shown, expected certitudes can vanish, leaving one reaching for something that isn't there.

Without going into history already mentioned in previous posts, the City of Seattle's administrative betrayal for the past four years left the taxi industry vulnerable to both the Uber wolves, and that creation of the Office of Consumer Affairs, the flat-rate for-hire industry.  Communicating that we in the taxi industry don't matter, the City of Seattle has put every conceivable obstacle in our path while saying this medicine is both what we deserve and should have expected given our historically, according to them, bad and irresponsible behavior. That the local taxi associations should have sued the City of Seattle, in my mind, is without question.  Mayor Murray's "negotiating committee" was bogus from the onset, requesting that we "slice our own throats."  Why would anyone participate in their own demise? 

Last week, looking at a history of the Jewish people of the 20th Century, I saw photographs of a Nazi mandated "Jewish Police Force" enforcing German ordered rules for the Polish "Warsaw Ghetto."  Maybe an extreme example but somehow appropriate given the outcome both then and now, unlimited Uber, Lyft and Sidecar drivers allowed to operate in our work place along with unfettered street access for the flat-rate for-hire industry.  This in no way can be called a victory, which explains why I wasn't invited to the mayor's table.  My response would have been an adamant "no way are we going along with this," thus rallying the taxi industry toward an opposite and positive outcome.  The book on Jewish history also showed Jewish Underground member holding machine guns while assisting the D-Day invasion.  That was a far better response given the existing conditions.

This brings me to what has been happening the past two months at PSD/BYG (Yellow Cab).  As previously described, the ongoing debut of George Anderson's dispatch remains troubled though signs of improvement continue to grow. Reports of a friend's unknown three hour-long system de-authorization, even though his computer confirmed was operational, is disturbing. The breach here has been the loss of what appears to be a large percentage of our customer base.  Saturday I was furious when, after six hours in the cab, I had grossed only $83.00 dollars.  And Sunday, what used to be a guaranteed pre-Seahawk rush to the game never materialized. 

What this means, especially for the lease-drivers, is that while operating costs remain high, expected income has dramatically decreased.  Our, the single owners and lease-drivers agreement or covenant with Yellow, is simple.  We pay for dispatch services and expect in exchange a reasonable monetary return.  Until recently, despite the City of Seattle's intentional sabotage, we having been doing okay.  But now, due to the new system's less than impressive performance, we are all suffering. 

I can say though what differentiates Yellow from the City of Seattle is their recognition that something is wrong and are attempting to remedy the situation.  What last Wednesday's TAG meeting made clear is that on the municipal level NOTHING will be changing.  They have screwed us and the screwing will continue unabated.  There is only one word suited to describe that wasted 1 1/2 hours: farcical.  Why the meeting could have been authored by Moliere  (1622-1673) himself if we had all instead been somehow transported back to 17th Century France.

"Que l'on parle bien quand on parle dans le desert."  quot Andre Gide (1869-1951).  The rough translation is thinking we are smart while talking in a parched and heated environment.  All I can say watch out for the sand in your eyes.  In 1997 "she-who-can't-be-named" and I encountered a sand storm in Death Valley.  Something to be avoided!



Friday, December 12, 2014

Deluding Myself

I really thought that Wednesday's TAG meeting would be flooded with angry cabbies. Well, I couldn't have been more incorrect. What this translates to is that I am more than tired "carrying the taxi torch" for an industry incapable of caring for itself.  Now I better than anyone understand the "taxi mind" but it comes to a point when I feel, in my current capacity as a lone cabbie shouting at the bureaucratic sky, it is time to take a different tact. I have thought often that I, and the local industry would be better served if I became an official taxi lobbyist, and that is what I am going to investigate becoming.  Washington State Senator Cyrus Habib is in the process of writing a bill that would completely redefine the definition of a TNC (meaning Uber) company, freeing Uber from L&I and other obligations.  In other words, the company with nearly 3 billion in cash on hand is seeking a free ride.  That is why an experienced taxi voice is required to fight something that will leave us at an operational disadvantage.  I can guarantee you that the majority of the elected and non-elected officials in the Washington State Capitol of Olympia know little to nothing concerning taxi realities. When I was working on the L&I issue, staff members were very appreciative of what I provided them, wishing they had spoken to me sooner.  I know I can be influential for an industry that is screaming out for some badly needed recognition.  The reason I quit the taxi commission because it was a waste of my time.  The same can be said of the TAG, making it highly doubtful I will be returning. 

Everyone might find it useful to read Ordinance # 124524.  Copies of the ordinance (law) are available on-line:

Enter Ord. No. "124524"

Copies of Rules issued to implement the Ordinance are available on-line:

Click on "Browse"

Update On Assaulted Cabbie Adam Gaal  

Jesse Alexander Fleming, the sailor alleged to have attacked Yellow taxi driver Adam Gaal, is scheduled to be arraigned on Malicious Harassment & 2nd Degree Assault charges on the morning of December 24th, at 8:30 AM in court room 1201, King County Courthouse, 516 3rd Avenue, Seattle, WA.  Fleming's bail was increased to $100,000

Check out the good article and interview by KUOW reporter Liz Jones on the KUOW website.  The article is entitled, "Muslim Group Wants FBI to Investigate Attack On Seattle Cabbie."

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A Taxi Cockroach? Sure, I Can Accept That!

Now many would find being compared to a lowly insect known best for crawling upon nocturnal kitchen floors an insult, but when "she-who-can't-be-named" called me a cockroach, she meant it as a compliment, recognizing that I, as a kind of local taxi version, a cabbie "periplaneta americana" (American cockroach species), can and will survive anything, including our industry's current difficulties. You ever notice how seemingly impossible it is to rid your abode of the little pests, no matter how hard you try, their "blattedoa" (order or insect classification) eon-generated external carapace resisting the thickest sole.  With over 4,600 thousand separate species, our friend Mister, Miss, Ms and Mrs. cockroach will probably be with us until the sun fizzles out in 2 1/2 billion years.  I can only hope that cabbies too have a similar shelf-life. 

This past weekend was better, with the dispatch system more or less functioning as intended.  Yesterday I met with one of the majority license holders, where I provided a quick but detailed analysis of what as I see as systemic failures at Yellow Cab.  Somehow he had the impression that the majority of drivers were happy with George Anderson's system. How anyone at this point could think that is a mystery. I did suggest that a return to a traditional queuing within the scope of the new system would be very popular and would more than likely silence dissension.

Repeatedly he told me he didn't have any hand in the decision making.  My only suggestion is that should change.  I know I would personally want to safeguard my investments.  We left our meeting agreeing he would ride with me some time Saturday morning and see for himself first hand how the system operates.  Being once a long-time veteran driver, I have hopes his involvement will achieve potentially positive results.    

Tomorrow I will be attending the already mentioned TAG meeting.  Hopefully progress will be made toward containing illegal pick ups.  Some good news appears to be coming out of the City of Seattle's Criminal Prosecutor's office.  More updates upon will be forthcoming as soon as I have more confirmation. 

Seattle Cabbie Attacked Early Sunday Morning

As noted many times, watch out for those full moon weekends!  Saturday's bar-break brought an unwarranted attack upon a local Somali driver whose crime it appears was a slow processing credit card transaction.  Upset over the proceedings, a young US navy man punched the driver, accusing the driver of being a terrorist, etc.  During the altercation, the cabbie's foot slipped off the brake pedal resulting in the taxi careening down a hill into parked cars, finally coming to rest in a stairwell.  After that the sailor and two male companions continued to physically punish the driver.  The sailor's bail has been set at $50,000 dollars, proving once again that alcohol and that devilish full moon are a dangerous combination.  During that same time period I took this nice woman back home to Rainier Valley while we shared cooking secrets concerning that noble fowl, the baked chicken.

The City of Portland, Oregon is Unhappy with Uber Tactics

After being warned that they were not welcome, Uber ignored municipal warnings and entered Portand, Oregon's transportation market minus official permission.  Unlike the City of Seattle's response, Portand has decided to protect its local taxi industry.  The following quote is taken from the December 8th, 2014 New York Times on-line edition "Bits" column written that day by Connor Dougherty.  The quote is telling:

"Taxi  cab companies follow rules on public safety," (Portand, Oregon) Mayor Charlie Hales said in a statement. "So do hotels and restaurants and construction companies and scores of other service providers.  Because everyone agrees: Good regulations make for a safer community.  Uber disagrees, so we are seeking a court injunction." 

It makes me wonder if it is indeed too late for the City of Seattle to follow the leads of Portland, and just recently, Las Vegas, Nevada's tough stance toward Uber.  If, and this is a big if, if we can only find out what Uber said to Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, everything might quickly change.  I just can't be the only one who thinks that the City Council's abrupt turnabout concerning its own legislation is suspicious.  I having suspected all along that we don't know the entire story.  I can only hope that media outlets like the Seattle Times will some day soon begin asking long and hard questions of the mayor and folks like City Council member Sally Bagwell and Jean Godden. I believe they might be able to tell us what we need to know, the how and whys of a complete governmental capitulation. Isn't anyone curious? 

Friday, December 5, 2014

If You Can, Be There: Taxi Advisory Group (TAG) Meeting, Wednesday 12/10/14 At 12:30-2:00 PM

I am encouraging all local taxi sleepwalkers to wake up and attend Craig Leisy's next TAG meeting scheduled for next Wednesday, December 10th, 2014, beginning at 12:30 PM, and located at the Seattle Municipal Tower, 700 5th Ave, Room 4080.  Mister Leisy will be talking about the implementation of the new taxi, flat-rate for-hire and TNC ordinance signed into law by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray.  We must demand that all "mincing of words and effort" halt immediately and let effective enforcement begin.  What has been utterly amazing these past four years is the City of Seattle's near complete avoidance of active enforcement pertaining to flat-rate for-hire cars, limo & town cars and the TNC (Uber, Lyft, Sidecar) industry.  While I personally get ticketed by the SPD for simply attempting to pick up at the local train station, town car and Uber drivers blatantly pick up on Capitol Hill and after Seahawk games minus any meaningful enforcement.  I suggested in an email to Mister Leisy that the City of Seattle is risking being held in contempt for ignoring its own rules and statues and laws, that is if anyone has the  monetary wherewithal to file a legal complaint.  In response I was told of some undercover enforcement but obviously charging a handful of violators does little to stem a tsunami.  New strategies are required and necessary. Please join me Wednesday and lobby for your industry before it is too late.  Uber now has a Wall Street evaluation of over $40 billion dollars, with nearly $3 billion dollars of operational capital on hand. Brothers and sisters, we are, simply and bluntly put, getting are butts kicked all around the town and globe.  It is time to stand up and defend your industry while we have one to defend.  If you don't think attending next Wednesday is important then I suggest you drive around on Sunday, December 14th, 2014 and see how many limos and town cars are lined up along 2nd Avenue South waiting to illegally pick up exiting Seahawk fans.  If the City of Seattle hears our united voices loud and strong on Wednesday perhaps those vultures will be scared away come December 14th.  All it takes is for the City of Seattle to call and say that their presence will not be tolerated. On Wednesday please tell Craig Leisy to make that telephone call.  Tell him it would be greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Discontent: End Of A Taxi Era?

Unfortunately my prediction concerning business volume, and the overall fate of the local taxi industry, might already be coming true as negative evidence builds, reinforcing the obvious.  This past weekend I made almost $150.00 less than what I view as my minimum weekend profit after lease and gasoline. This is not personally sustainable. Early Saturday morning I took a taxi buddy home who is not close to having his December rent, T__ just thankful that he has his back taxi lease paid up, meaning he has been in arrears for nearly two or three weeks.  Another friend, who I saw sitting at Amtrak Sunday afternoon, borrowed 20 bucks so he could pay his storage bill by 5:00 PM, thus avoiding what would otherwise be an eighty dollar late fee.  Both of these guys are veteran drivers and, business-wise, are getting their taxi butts kicked. Obviously this is not a good story, one being written by many drivers reaching for non-existent fares.  

The reason behind these sad chronicles are three-fold.  One, as usual, with summer now past, seasonally, passenger volume is down.  Two, decisions made by City and County regulators and administrators have adversely affected our work environment.  And three, for those of us working at Yellow, the continued dysfunctional dispatch system has been costly, with calls down and frustration mounting.  One, two, THREE rhymes with misery!

As I repeated at the city council hearings and previously many times upon these pages, Seattle and the surrounding metropolitan area cannot, and more than likely, for years to come, will not sustain the numbers of drivers of all types offering taxi-style ride services, the passenger customer base totally insufficient to simultaneously provide adequate business levels to two thousand-plus independent operators competing at any given hour.  Where, I ask Seattle's mayor and the nine current city council members, where were these legions of customers on a miserably dead post-Thanksgiving weekend?  Where are all these mythological customers mentioned in the Cooper/Mundy report coming from?  Need I remind that Seattle is not New York City?  And will it ever become an equivalent entity, filled with millions of inhabitants?  Harbor Island will never be mistaken for Manhattan.

The answer to my questions garners an easy response.  The customers simply do not exist.  Let me repeat.  The imagined, and I mean imaginary customers do not exist in Seattle, Washington on a daily and seasonal basis.  That is the truth.  And wishing it was otherwise, like in  some contemporary fairytale authored by a modern Han Christian Andersen won't alter the situation or reconfigure the tale.  Even though Seattle is a gateway to Alaska and Asia, it remains what it is, a small, regional center.  As is said, putting lipstick upon the lips of a farm animal doesn't change the porcine or bovine into a suitable partner.  A steer is a castrated bull and the gelding an unhappy horse. Any and all other definitions not applicable to the subject at hand.

This, as I have oft repeated, is what happens, mis-definitions and misdirection, when local experts like me and many others are not listened to or taken seriously.  Not only were our warning and misgivings unheeded, they were completely ignored, and why, why did this occur? 

Simply due to a lack of respect, an attitude personally emanating from the mayor and the city council members implying clearly that those of an inferior class cannot possibly understand what is happening around them. Unfortunately, it is no surprise to me that class and caste-based attitude is rampant at Seattle's City Hall, having long understood that the occupants view themselves as morally superior and educated and knowledgeable, their judgements unequivocal and final and beyond reproach.  And I wouldn't take any denials on their part seriously, actions speaking far louder than flowery words, their sentences wilting upon parched tongues, rulers forever invoking metaphysical approval and guidance.  Historically it is a popular stance, living Gods beyond questioning or rebuke. I suggest that the time for term limits have arrived.  Two terms for both the mayor and the city council.  That, and that alone might remove literally some of the current complacency, or more succinctly, the dead weight compressing the city management.

And yes, at times there is some business but not enough to make a positive impact upon all concerned. Sunday night, the airport and the train stations were busy with returning Thanksgiving celebrants but what about the previous 40 hours beginning at 12:01 AM Saturday morning?  You can bet Mayor Ed Murray and council members like Sally Bagwell, Sally Clark, Tom Rasmussen, Jean Godden and that ersatz champion of the abused masses, Kshama Sawant, will never for a second suffer through sitting in a cab not knowing where that next fare will come from.  How can you expect objectivity from someone receiving a guaranteed paycheck?  My rhetorical reply is you can't, or at least the percentages are extremely low.

I  have mentioned this before, and again the truth remains unchanged, the mayor and the nine city council members, save perhaps Mike O'Brien, do not understand one iota the consequences of their decisions upon thousands of taxi, flat-rate for-hire, and ride-share (TNC) drivers and their families. Adding the now serious mistakes currently plaguing PSD/BYG (Yellow Taxi), our reality (the drivers and owners) can be appropriately summed up in one word, DISASTER, and how this horrible situation concludes is anyone's guess.

On that topic, mismanagement on the taxi association level, Mister George Anderson, author of his now infamous dispatching system, made yet another appearance Monday to answer questions from a group of extremely angry multiple taxi license owners.  Yellow's extra board is now daily filled with un-leased cabs.  Cuts are being made at the garage and the superintendent's and cashier's and dispatch office.  One month later and still the studded snow tires haven't been mounted.  And the annual Yellow Thanksgiving Dinner was cancelled.  Shrilly the alarm bells are ringing, with no rescuers in sight while rebellion permeates the air because people are unable to pay for their most basic needs.  Does this mean we have to cancel Christmas too?

This, my taxi friends and brothers and sisters, is not funny.  I repeat, there is no humor to be found in this situation, no, none whatsoever. And the grim months of winter have yet to arrive.  God! I hate  to see what is going to happen.  It is not going to be a pretty taxi picture, and you can quote me upon that.  Heaven (and whoever resides there), help us!