The Best Route to Where I was Going?
Friend Bill wondered why, when on my way to Port Angeles with that prescription package, did I turn off State Route 16 instead of continuing on up to the Hood Canal Bridge and northbound Highway 101? Thinking about it, Bill poised a very good point, made sharper by the fact I owned an condo for a few years in Bremerton, often driving Route 16 to visit that famous blog personage, "she-who-can't-be-named" when she resided in Port Townsend. That my chosen route was reasonably efficient, taking me roughly 2 1/2 to 3 three to get there, staying on SR 16 probably would have been a bit faster, unless of course there had been some kind of delay concerning the bridge, something I have personally experienced.
Parked outside the Kent, Washington pharmacy, I consulted the Washington Sate map I keep in the cab, making the conscious choice to take Route 302 to Route 3 and then 101. Thinking back upon it, what was my deciding factor? Fatigue, simple weariness guiding my eyes instead of my brain realizing what should have been obvious but at that crucial moment, wasn't. As any cabbie knows, there is nothing more exhausting than day after day after month in the cab, explaining why I take as much time off as I do. But as my new US Passport photo displays, I am both looking and getting older, my 67 years on this planet telling me and everyone it's true.
I do take pride in my routing where ever I might be going. What has been usually true over the taxi years are three aspects concerning my driving: I am usually faster to the pickup, faster to the destination, and most always cheaper than other cabbies. I try then "to make it happen" with every bell I get. That I am not always perfect is unfortunate but I swear I damn well will keep trying to be, and will continue to do the best I can with the body I have. But give me sleep, I love to sleep, counting taxi sheep baa, baa, baa!
Perhaps Asking Too Much
All during these past months talking, communicating with Seattle and King County taxi officials, I have been very aware I was requesting something they have never done: regulating the local taxi industry as a "whole" instead of their primary focus licensing drivers and cabs while also concerning themselves with driver behavior. That they haven't given much thought to taxi association and dispatch company behavior is obvious to anyone affected by association decisions. If there is a worse to this, it is how Seattle and King County have seemed completely unaware of who is in practice, in reality making most if not all of association and company decisions: association and dispatch company governing boards. But maybe I am asking too much of regulators who have never for a minute driven a cab, making them and other officials like the Mayor and City and County Council members oblivious to the real needs and wants of the taxi industry, all them participating in a kind of regulatory "pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey," everyone blindfolded and bumping into walls and each other.
After many conversations, after many requests extending over the past ten years to get everyone to remove the blindfolds, the industry remains where it began: dysfunction posing as workability and function. Well, surprise, surprise but no surprise as it appears we are no closer to clarity despite all efforts toward even temporary resolution. I give up but as "she-who-can't-be-named" always says about me, I never give up but if I am suddenly smarter, I will finally hold up my hands and vow "I surrender!"
Good, old reliable 1092
A few days ago, my taxicab Ford Crown Victoria had an odometer reading of 387,751. Remarkable. And thank you, 1092, thank you very much for being such a good runner!
Hubbly Bubbly, here you go
A reader asks how many cabs does Seattle Yellow currently have and when will they stop taking returning cabs. There are roughly between 155-160 cabs actively plying the streets, and the limit appears to be flexible as our summer business grows. The GM is currently out of town and when he is returning I haven't heard. The real answer is I don't ultimately know, aptly describing my entire time driving taxi: I don't know for sure one way or the other, upside or down, forever, forever remaining a taxi clown.
The shock and honor I felt making it to a title of this blog. Amazing.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the info. Always enjoyed the blog. Finally bothered signing up to reply.
Sadly, none of these regulators care. And so much of the customer and pop culture complaints and stereotypes about the "bad" can industry rest solely at the feet of indifferent, careless, incompetent municipal & County officials & regulators & employees. Has Seattle's FAS ever done a damn thing to help consumers from being insanely gouged by the TNC's, attacked by their drivers, or refunded the cancellation fees they owed after drivers cancelled their rides for whatever reason?
No, of course not. Checking cab driver for hire licenses or some other nonsense is all those nitwits can manage to do for another paycheck.