Before I go into what fun it hasn't been being back in the taxi, the big local cab news is the sudden closure of that Snohomish County and deep north King County fixture, Northend Taxi, a company that has been around the taxi scene much longer than I have. What I have been told is that Northend's owner, Linda Hawley, called it quits because she tried of the struggle to keep the company going.
Having never personally met her, legend and rumor paints her as an unpredictable figure prone to emotional outbursts. But what is true is that her entire operation is up for sell, including what I am told is some very valuable property adjacent to I-5. So while all her drivers and dispatchers might suffer, she will end up okay despite her uncertain decades running Northend.
Today a friend told me that a few years ago she declined an offer of $160,000 per car for her roughly 15 car fleet. Of course now she might expect to get between 20-30 thousand. At least the former Northend drivers won't have any problem finding new taxi homes, a few already transferring over to Seattle Yellow. Given that it is the winter season, if you are crazy enough to want to drive a Seattle cab, there are plenty available for you to suffer in. Welcome, my friends, to the living hell we are all sharing. Welcome!
As for being back behind the Seattle taxi wheel, I will make it short and sour, telling you that already I have come close to being killed by an insane driver on northbound I-5 and have twice encountered wrong way drivers. And what about the schizophrenic passenger yesterday who first insisted on being dropped off upon the opposite side of the street from her home, then compounding that bad decision by running headlong into oncoming traffic as I yelled "to please be careful!" Fun? No, this is not fun. Stupid? Yes, it is stupid!
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