Sunday, January 13, 2019

Like California's Governor: Questioning Rates & Fees At Seattle Yellow Cab & Insult---What Do The People Want?

I am not the only one feeling I am being overcharged for services or products rendered.  California's new Governor, Gavin Newsom deciding that the state of California is paying too much for the drugs provided by the major pharmaceutical companies and is putting together plans to force the drug firms to lower costs.  Newsom's point is that he knows the drug firms can lower their prices but instead are charging whatever they want simply because they have in the past, with no incentive in changing their behavior.  While not interested in argument, Newsom insistent that the situation must change soon. 

Similarly then is the legacy the group of Yellow Taxi single owners is taking on, one where associations, be they Yellow or Farwest or Eastside for Hire, have acted as having complete control over their operations, driver concerns more than secondary, they are essentially nonexistent.  It is this attitude that us single owners at Yellow/PSD have decided to challenge.  Since we are the ones monetizing Puget Sound Dispatch, we need to have both a voice in operations and a clear understanding to just how our money is utilized and where it is going.  Our demands are based simply upon company performance, or the lack of it, in the following areas:

Available customers and accounts, plus advertising

Quality of dispatch services, including call-taking and support

Support services including cashiering, driver superintendent support and City of Seattle & King County regulatory advocacy and communication

Weekly dispatch and daily cashiering fees

The reason we are going forward is simple.  No one else is going to do it for us, Seattle & KC licensing only interested in collecting fees and little else.  A responsible regulatory agency would be immediately looking into Yellow Fleet's attempted manipulation of their in-house mechanics, resulting in them fleeing the premises.  By telling them their rent was suddenly doubled, they decided to leave, leaving cab maintenance and associated passenger safety in question.

Not only is Seattle & KC not interested in driver advocacy, they are not committed to passenger safety.  They will deny this but from what I have seen over the years, nothing exists to refute this, Seattle & KC allowing Yellow and the other associations to do whatever they please.  That very palpable reality tells us, once again, that we are on our own.  Change will only occur if we are the ones implementing it.

Three owner committees have been formed as our speaking representatives:

Puget Sound Dispatch (PSD) committee

Seattle & King County committee

Action (insurance & government fees) committee

I am a member of the committee that will be meeting with City, County, Port and State officials.  I am including myself solely due to my long experience dealing with government intransigence, knowing the minefields we will be entering.

I remain impressed with single owner resolve.  They are serious.  They are seeking justice, all of which explains why I am supporting their efforts.  Our industry is at risk.  We want to enhance our futures.  It is that simple.

Are City/County Taxi App Rates Not Subject to Fare Rate Regulation?

According to a presenter at the single owner meeting, our meter rates are not regulated where apps are involved.  One person in the know emailed that yes, it is true, our app rates, along with Uber & Lyft, have been unregulated for the past 4 years.  It is news to me and I await response from the City & County.  The implications, as one might guess, are many.


A few nights ago on Pier 69, Rick, who once owned and ran Red Top Taxi, joked about a passenger saying to him "Don't be insulted but.....," making Rick laugh because he knows, like I know and every cabbie knows, insult is inherent to driving cabs.  Two recent examples for your reading displeasure.

School runs have become part of our September to June bread & butter.  One associated difficulty is, upon arriving at a school for the first time, to know just what are the pickup procedures when picking up a child for the first time.  That I even entered the school to inquire about the child was a violation to office staff at one particular school, repeatedly telling me you must be at that side of the school.......etc, clearly not understanding their condensation.  My response to this type of nonsense is this: Do you want competency or incompetency?  Knowing what I am doing was clearly offensive to them.  Why is the question.

This next one couldn't have been stranger.  The passenger was going a mere 3 blocks away from a fabric store to a grocery store.  In that short span she began questioning my knowledge of where the store was even though I had said "I had been there many times."  Yelling at me to "Shut up! Shut up!" when questioned about what she was doing, she further underlined her derogatory behavior by stating "I am a doctor!"  When I said, "then what does that make me" she said, "Everyone makes their life decisions."  And that, lady, I thought, certainly applies to you.

Yes, such fun beneath the the taxi moon and sun!

1 comment:

  1. Joey ,
    Let me tell you unmentioned
    truism , all cab associations
    rob drivers blind !! It's
    their de facto business mode
    and it always has been . The
    governmental agencies are
    also complicit to this
    ' highway robbery '. It
    amazes me that anyone can't
    see this truth . So , in
    that regard , owners and
    drivers are just as guilty
    by their mere association with
    the companies they drive for.
    Any questions ?? Bill...