Today my blog is directed toward one particular group, and that is the folks collectively making up Puget Sound Dispatch ( Seattle Yellow Cab) and those in charge of dispatching the calls (bells) to the taxi fleet. While they don't seem to realize it, what we have here is a failure to communicate, that is, to accurately and correctly send out account fares in a manner allowing us to understand where the call is, and whether it makes any sense to accept the fare. And it isn't that PSD doesn't understand this, because when an airport run is dispatched, the word "Airport" is always attached to the initial fare offering, clearly communicating that its both an important and good fare, ensuring of course that the call is quickly accepted and attended to.
Yes, a very simple and effective method guaranteeing the customer will get to their flight on time. That they don't take this commonsense approach with equally important account time calls is something that should change, and here are my suggestions on how it should be done, and in the end, making PSD, the cabbie and the account customer very happy.
When the fare is offered, the following steps should be taken:
1) Like the "airport" designation, designate that it is a good fare, for example, if it is going somewhere in Eastern Washington , mark it with an "E WA," telling the cabbie that its a fare you want to have. Another major reason for providing this kind of information is that Seattle's horrible traffic means you sometimes need to have a good reason to battle traffic getting to that fare 4 miles away, not making good sense on any level accepting a "far away bell" when its going to take you 20 minutes of hard driving to get there, all for $5.00.
By labelling the call in some positive way----"Good Fare" or "$100.00 plus Fare" or "Going to Kent," it will enable the cabbie to make quick, coherent decisions. That PSD is currently unhappy is signaled by their telling you, once the call is rejected, that you just lost a $40.00 run, etc. Personally, I find this kind of response insulting because none of us cabbies want to "throw away money," PSD's actions a kind of "sticking their tongue out," taunting for not accepting the fare, implying minus any doubt they think (and know) I am an idiot.
2) Provide part of the address when the fare is offered, again providing us necessary information. That this is now sometimes done suggests it is something that should occur 100% of the time. Again, given Seattle's traffic congestion, it is something I need to know.
3) Provide the time-call time. Say I am in Zone 190, and I am offered an account time call at 4:00 PM in Zone 105, and I see the info "Time Call Due in 30 minutes," telling me that I will have the time to make it without "killing myself," fighting the damn traffic to the pickup address.
And, ladies and gentlemen, these are the simple solutions to a nagging issue. Communicate, PSD, and you will be rewarded with better service by all those deranged cabbies. After all, this is a working partnership, and all of us are paying $180.00 per week for these dispatch services. My advice then is, stop acting like there is an ongoing war between driver and PSD, and instead, do what is necessary to assure good service 24 hours a days in a 365 day year.
And lastly, peace and goodwill to all men and women, cabbies included. Amen!
Larry Gossett's Complaint
I bring up the subject of the now defeated longtime King County Council member because, last week, he could be heard on KNOW radio lamenting his unexpected electoral expulsion from the County Council. But I know something everyone listening at that moment didn't know, and that is Larry's complete failure to remember our (the local taxi industry's lawsuit) against King County when he was the sitting Council President. I know this because, earlier this year, Larry was a passenger in my cab and I asked him about it. No, no recall at all. That we battled in the courts for months? No. That I led the fight? No. That Green Cab was allowed not to follow the rules governing the issuance of 50 KC medallions? No, not remembering any of it.
Yes, Mr Gossett is a nice and caring man, having served Seattle and King County, and in particular, the minority community for many years. But then again, it wasn't nice what he did to all us aggrieved cabbies, and not for a second remembering, explaining why he lost the election, because, how can you claim to be prepared to govern when you don't know where you are at any particular moment. My question is, just where were you, Mr. Gossett, when we were spending over $100,000 trying to get your attention?
Oh, that's right, you don't appear to remember!
Postscript 01/13/2019 9:48 AM
To underline my point about marking, highlighting fares, my first fare yesterday after posting yesterday noted "Going to airport" which certainly got my attention. Starting from the 5900 block of Airport Way South, I got to the Museum of Flight in 6-7 minutes. As I said, provide us with the necessary info and off all of us fly to the bell! Yes, taxi reality as I know it.
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