Monday, October 22, 2018

Moanin' & Groanin'----Competing Against Companies Who Don't Have To Be Profitable

It was a lousy weekend, taxi veterans complaining they were not close to paying their leases.  And even Saturday's University of Washington Husky football game overall was a financial dud, a close game at halftime keeping the fans glued to their stadium seats and not crossing Montlake to my waiting cab.  While personally rebounding, closing out my four day run with a decent ending, it taking me four days to net what I once did in two days.  Is this fun? No, it is not fun.

And why?  Because since their inception, both Uber and Lyft have not made a red cent, instead living off investor money to keep them up and running, something none of us cabbies can do.  How can one individual like myself compete against the billions of dollars backing these ride-share companies, with it only getting worse when they enter the stock market next year, further insulating them from economic reality?

Clearly I can't compete because I have little choice but to run in the black, making sure my tiny "small-business operation" is never in debt, ensuring I have enough money each week for never ending municipal taxi fees and car repairs and filling up 1092's tank every night.  When the Seattle City Council uncapped Uber and Lyft I am sure they didn't know they were forcing us to engage in a losing battle with multi-billion dollar Wall Street investors and Hedge Funds.  But that is our daily reality, both here and in NYC and San Francisco and cities across the globe.

Just as American companies show no concern over a million minority Chinese citizens now residing in Communist reeducation camps, instead only interested how Trump's trade tariffs are affecting profitability, so have local city governments across the United States treated its endemic taxi companies, allowing us to be trampled under by unfair competition.  And during this next election season, asking to once again return them to where they shouldn't have been in the first place.

Who cares about us?  Only our families and friends, and clearly no one else, subjected to the same fate as those long-departed dinosaurs slated for a premature extinction.  But unlike those unheard dying voices piercing the Mesozoic air, we cabbies are here today crying into the night, beseeching the bureaucratic gods with our pathetic wails!

"Help! Help! Help us before it is too late!"


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