Tuesday, October 29, 2019

City Of Seattle Meter Testing & Why Did Anyone Think The Philippines Was A Good Idea & HopeLink Finger Printing

With the introduction of our (PSD's, Yellow's) new MTI dispatch system and its new "soft meter," the City of Seattle wanted to confirm its accuracy when compared to the old more mechanical version.  And to my surprise last Wednesday, during 1092's testing, it appears this new approach to mileage computation is more concise than what we all have been using for decades.  That was "taxi music" to my ears, pleased because being on the "straight and narrow," charging no more than is legally allowed should always be taxi's only acceptable creed.  As the weeks proceed forward, I can only see the new system getting better and more efficient. Unfortunately, the same optimism can't be applied to the Manila/Philippines call-center Puget Sound Dispatch, decided, in a complete lack of wisdom, to sign all us up for minus a second of input and consolation. Not nice, no, not at all.

No, I don't believe much thought was put into the consequences concerning the Philippines

One might say, and many do, that no thought was given to how we, the combined Yellow Cab single owner community, would react to what essentially was a knife to our collective back, providing us with "a local dispatch" call center based nearly 7000 miles directly east across the Pacific Ocean.  Despite our many grumblings, PSD appears to think there are none, or will be, any consequences to their decision.  Perhaps yes, perhaps no, is all I can say.

This morning, after telling our new dispatch manager, Tina, that the Manila call takers were problematic, she replied "they are doing a great job."  Unfortunately, that is not our working reality, and brushing aside any and all comment is not constructive.

Sunday I was belled into the Greyhound Bus Station, my passenger name given as "Customer."  After loading up someone going to the airport, the actual person I was belled for, named "G______," ran up to the cab telling me she had called.  Sorry, I said, I was never given your name but I would call dispatch and get her a cab.  What dispatch told me was that they couldn't do it, that the passenger had to call herself, but hadn't she already called, and I was trying to repair their mistake?  Hanging up, I called again, telling yet another call taker that they needed to bell in another cab.  What they actually did I have no idea.  Did "G______" ever get her cab?  Good question, isn't it?

Here is the problem.  To expect people who have never driven taxi, who have never been in Seattle, and are 6,700 miles away, to know the cab business, is nonsensical.  As a long-in-the-taxi-tooth Yellow superintendent said to me today, ex-cab drivers make the best call takers, because simply they have "lived and died taxi  and that is the way it was, and is.  Feedback from many of our longtime regular passengers backs this up: these new folks don't know what they are doing.  Then the obvious question is, why is PSD pretending Manila is working out just fine for all concerned?  Why indeed!?

Fingerprinting Every 3 Years?

The agency, HopeLink, is now requiring we all get fingerprinted even though all of our fingerprints are on permanent file at the City of Seattle/ King County.  Why is a good question, along with the mandate that the fingerprinting must be renewed every three years.  Just as Seattle/KC once required yearly fingerprinting, this three-year cycle appears to be redundant and unnecessary.  To me, this speaks to how the taxi associations do little to nothing to protect their drivers from trivial bureaucratic demands taking up our time and money.   But as with the issue with the faraway dispatch, if you truly cared about the cabbies, you would respond differently, more positively, more concerned about our overall well-being.

And that is just the way it is, despite all denials to the contrary.  Do we really want to emulate Donald Trump?  I don't think that we do.


  1. Joey ,
    As you know , the many and various
    problems started long before our
    current oval office occupant , but
    like all you leftists , you just
    brand all problems straight towards
    our current presidents office ,
    why ?? This bewilders me , it
    truly does !! If you think your
    candidate can do a better job,
    well , my advice , vote your
    conscience , don't just parrot
    the party slogans !! Like all
    you sheeple , you just mouth - off
    without doing anything constructive
    towards alleviating your woes.
    This is the common thread running
    thru all your posts . I have
    suggestion , change the name
    of your blog title to ' real
    seattle taxi cry - baby rants !! '
    I'm betting your readership will
    greatly improve at that point .
    Bill ...

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