Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The Present Reality Of Taxi Ownership In Seattle & King County

I write this as warning to all those interested in owning a cab: don't do it is all I can say.  Why, you say, why not embrace the freedom of running your own small business?  Simply because it isn't freedom.  Instead it a kind of debtor's prison, where you remain shackled to a never ending series of expenses.

When Yellow was good, all I had to do as a lease driver was show up and work, making my money minus any of the inherent expenses that come with cab ownership like insurance and car maintenance.  Now I have Yellow's weekly $180.00 dispatch fee to deal with along with everything else.

And if you have drivers sharing the cab like, until last week like I did, you have the constant friction of communicating with the American Cabbie (americus hypocriti), a species I have decided I'd rather avoid.  Last night when parking my cab two rather large coyotes ran by me, nervous I was up to no good.  But I'd rather have "canis latrans" driving my cab.  Least I would know what to expect, when instead feral cabbies are and remain unpredictable.  And disrespectful, these guys ultimately not very nice, wanting everything while giving little back in return.

I mention all this because the City of Seattle is planning on issuing 55 more City-Only medallions in an upcoming lottery.  Today I wrote the folks guiding this questionable venture, telling them that the last thing we need are more cabs upon Seattle's streets, that business is bad and it is plainly irresponsible to be adding to the ongoing misery.  Do I think my warning will be heeded?  No, I highly doubt it, little stopping the bureaucratic machine once it's gained momentum, and in this case, plowing headlong into a wall, smashing everyone involved.

Why then is the City of Seattle adding cabs to an already saturated market?  Sadism must be the solitary answer, somehow enjoying the suffering of innocents because it will be a struggle for every new owner to survive a business climate that is suffocating the life and breath out of all of us.  It is not funny and certainly no joke to raise the expectations of the desperate who once thought taxi ownership to be a direct path to "the promised land."  Well, as I personally know all too well, this promised land is another version of hell and little else.

So in that sense I beseech the City & County: don't do it, don't release those medallions.  Lord have mercy! Don't do it!  Let people scream that you are being unfair.  You will be doing the right thing by waiting until business improves but in what upcoming century I couldn't tell you.  But it won't be in the years 2018, 2019 or 2020.  The wait will be long, and it will be hard.  Cabbies will be crying if not actually physically dying.

Again, Lord Have Mercy!  Don't do it!


  1. Joey ,
    As always , my advice to the
    flock of sheeple is simply this,
    be careful what you wish for !!
    As you've pointed - out , the
    grass is never greener on the
    other side of the fence , and
    if it appears as such , it's
    only because your neighbor
    uses more manure !! I can
    remember in the early '80's
    drivers would sleep - in their
    cabs , drivers and owners
    both. Blanket and pillow tucked
    in the trunk during the day,
    brought - out to use at night.
    Parked - on the Sheraton or
    Westin stand. Everyone told
    me 'get - out of the industry
    before the industry gets you
    out , by force !! ' Ask yourself , is that your fate ??

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