Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Pleading At The Podium---Seattle Port Commission 01-12-2016

Yesterday's Port of Seattle meeting/hearing was as close as one could imagine to a regulatory overview suddenly transformed into religious experience, with mostly taxi adherents pleading to those operational deities masquerading as Port commissioners to please anoint and bless a particular course to Sea-Tac nirvana and celestial transportation bliss. That the 1:00 PM start time kept morphing into official "swearing in" ceremonies and refreshment breaks, an already passionate fervor grew over what is normally usual and mundane---the day to day operations of Port of Seattle facilities.  That the five sitting commissioners hold the "car keys" was blatantly obvious. Maybe that is why so many were howling to "high heaven."  Makes sense to me.  Maybe.

Two agenda items stood out above everything else--the deciding of Puget Sound Dispatch's fate over "out-bound trip" reporting; and Sea-Tac's RFP (Request For Proposal) for a new five-year passenger transportation contract beginning July 2016.  Lending to my personal tension was the unexplained shuffling of the public testimony sign-up sheets, somehow the first sheet becoming the second which meant I was about to be late getting 478 back to my night-shift driver.  All this personal anxiety was created by my day-driver awakening me at 3:00 AM and calling off, meaning that if I was going to recoup my $65.00 it was up to me to make my way into the cab.  The proverbial "long story short" is my driving of 478 met delay after unexpected  bureaucratic delay.  One and one $40.00 fare only kept the day from being a complete disaster. And perhaps even better, the passenger might be taking a "taxi tour" of Seattle come Saturday, wanting to visit Bruce Lee's grave site.  

Finally getting my speaking opportunity, my addled two minutes emphasized that my favorite nemesis, the City of Seattle as represented by the Mayor and City Council created this untenable working environment (14,000 Uber operators) by still unknown political maneuvering and machinations. I suggested that there was still much left to learn and that it would benefit all concerned if the current Port Commission took the time to investigate why the Seattle City Council threw their bill away, thus uncapping Uber and providing us with our current scenario. After that I rushed out of the door, missing all of the important deliberations.  

One conspiracy theory is that all those delays were intentional, the Port Commission very aware of the Four O'clock shift change, knowing that all those taxi troublemakers would flee, allowing them to proceed ahead peacefully.  If that was the case, they succeeded in approving PSD's $880.000 repayment along with granting Yellow's operational contract through June minus any argument.  They also anointed the RFP request, meaning applications can now be made and submitted.  If you want to operate a fleet of vehicles at Sea-Tac, your opportunity has arrived.  

Now for other taxi items for the hip and hip-less and taxi hippos too, having all escaped from confinement in their local zoo, and now I get to communicate their relatively benign insanity to you!  Boo Hoo Hoo!

I Like This Rumor

No, it was not the dispatch debacle that booted the last dispatch manager out-of-the-door.  No, instead it was the "feeding" to his wife while driving her private car with $400.00 package runs.  That there would be a paper trail doesn't mean anything to all those "firm believers" in this nonsensical theory.  Nearly destroying Yellow isn't enough to get yourself fired.  According to these guys, there was another more important reason. Amazing!  If they really believe this they should put in a telephone call to the local District Attorney.  Why just spread idle rumors when you can put the sucker away into the slammer?

More "Molest" Plus a Slam in the Chest

After searching and searching for a Saturday "bar-break" fare I am flagged down by a man on Capital Hill.  First thing he says to me is "I am drunk and horny!"  which meant for the four-block long ride I was the object of his ardent attentions, even grabbing my arm.  When I said what I really preferred were poodles, he found that as evidence I was indeed a fellow "same-gender" type.  All that for five dollars!

And on Sunday, a giddy and somewhat bewildering female passenger slammed me in the chest while I opened the door for her.  Again, amazing!

This Is "Uber" Crazy

I am not making this up.  How could I?  What is true is that I can register my car with Uber and then go down to the King County Licensing office and get my Uber version of the for-hire which allows me to drive for Uber, flat-rate and taxi.  Having no intention of ever driving for Uber I then have a completely free for-hire license and King County receives nothing whatsoever.  How can that be?  Nuts, isn't it!?  What is the explanation? Is anyone curious?

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