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? 

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