Too Much Owed by NYC Cabbies
Once again, the fiasco that is the overvaluation of New York City's taxi medallions is in the news, as a new effort to undo the damage done by New York City government and medallion financial loan companies takes hold, with a proposal stating that all of the outstanding, egregious loans be reduced to an "across the board figure" of $145,000 per medallion. Even that sounds like too much but when you understand that medallion values were artificially inflated by up to over one million dollars per medallion, it was simple economics leading to the many loan defaults across NYC's taxi community. Many owners have outstanding debt loads of $500-800 thousand dollars, with loan payments of over $4000.00 per month. This of course is unsustainable for anyone. And all of this is made worse by the reality that the NYC government promoted it, making impossible promises of great riches to immigrant drivers new to America, not thinking that they would be lied to in the great, old USA but misled they were, and now they are in dire straits, with little option save death, something a number of drivers have decided upon, killing themselves. One can only hope that this new effort to reduce the debt burden will succeed, and as the pandemic ends, NYC's taxi industry will see a new and robust revival. Here in Seattle, medallion value once reached $245,000 but as I told everyone, that was pure fantasy. What are they worth today? One thousand dollars. Maybe.
Big NY Times Ad by Israeli LiDAR Company
On the back page of the NY Times Business section, Friday, October 1st, 2021 paper edition, is a full page ad populated by NYC's famous Yellow Cabs, something grabbing my attention and curiosity, making me wonder, who the heck is INNOVIZ Technologies and why are they spending big money for this advertisement? The text is as follows:
Innoviz's LiDAR Technology see sthe world in ways humans simply can't.
Check out $INVZ on the Nasdaq or Innoviz.tech
INNOVIZ TECHNOLOGIES Autonomous driving
is safer driving
I'll let you imagine all those Yellow Cabs whizzing down Manhattan's streets. LiDAR stands for "light detecting and ranging," which is some kind of laser technology. INNOVIZ, a small company based in Israel, is trying to drum up investor money. They have 320 employees. The have one big time customer, having joined BMW with developing its BMWiNext Series. What do I think about all of this? Teach people how to really drive a car, education the key, not handing out driving licenses to the unprepared.
She Was So Upset
A last fare yesterday was this poor, older African-American woman who had her car towed away by the City of Seattle. Why? Something to do with her license plate. Now it was going to cost her $300.00 to rescue her car from Lincoln Towing at 122nd & Aurora North. When the meter hit $10.00, I told her that was enough, and she began crying, my very human gesture recognizing her distress causing tears, she thanking me. If you don't think systemic racism doesn't exist, dye your skin black and get back to me after one month. That should do it.
Bad Cabbie Review Committee
Yellow Cab/Puget Sound Dispatch has expressed interest in my idea of bringing misbehaving cabbies before a hearing conducted by their peers. We are just entering the planning stages. I think this can be a much better answer than firing drivers even though they might deserve it. Let's give them the opportunity to reform and see what happens. I think, after listening to reason, a driver's behavior will change, transforming the guy into a new and improved cabbie. It is worth the effort because a good cabbie is a critical human asset not to be wasted or thrown away but someone to be valued and retained.
Too Late for Me
I had to laugh out loud when a leading member of the local Sikh community said that my name had been mentioned as someone they would like to see running Yellow, replacing the current General Manager. I laughed, saying I am trying to get out of taxi, not deeper to where there is no escape. At one point, yes, I would have been interested but now, no way, no way. And besides, I said, David Friend doesn't like me, my operating style abhorrent to him and others. As I keep yelling silently, "LET ME OUT OF THIS INSANE ASLYUM!" And that's how I really feel. Enough already.
Time to step - up to the plate.
Your fellow cabbies need you !!
Signed , present and past
members of BYG .