The newspaper headlines raged: "New York City Yellow Cabs will now Partner with Uber", and yes folks, it's true, that customers can enlist a Yellow Cab through Uber's app. It's your choice, a regular Uber operator or a Yellow Cab. Why someone would do that, picking one over the other is something I don't quite understand unless you are supportive of the taxi industry and despise Uber.
It is said it can be an advantage when the cab is dropping off in the outer boroughs but Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Staten Island are already served by the Green Cab version of New York taxi so why is any of this necessary? The only positive I can see is that it acts as a kind of dispatch absent from Manhattan taxis but isn't it true that they have their own app called Arro, making this arrangement superfluous?
Uber likes it because it presents them as cooperative and compassionate, something Uber is not but its good publicity, a newer and kinder Uber hugging and kissing those once awful cabbies. But for the cabbie it is a slap because Uber rates are lower, making their time sitting in Manhattan's notorious traffic even less profitable.
What I sense you are seeing is a local cab industry exhausted by the many negative factors over the past few years, causing not only abject despair but also bankruptcies and suicide. Joining Uber is a kind of giving up, surrendering to the enemy, their Yellow Cab now their prison cell, the freedom that once was taxi becoming a new kind of mobile internment camp, an Executive Order 9066 minus FDR's wartime proclamation, though this time everyone deceptively remaining free but still held captive in sorrow and shame, the mental uniform of the defeated.
Too Much Laundry for One Cab
Driving up, I see this guy sitting atop a literal mountain of laundry, all bagged and ready to go but my cab isn't a dump trunk, and I said I don't think it would all fit into the car. In all my years, I had never seen anything like all these bags amounting to nearly half the size of my cab. He got mad and said I was rude, and while shouting at me, a young couple drove up and decided they would pile the laundry into their car. A bit later, as I am on my way to the airport, dispatch calls to tell me a "concerned citizen" telephoned to comment upon my behavior. But I swear I was only trying to figure out how to help the guy but he wanted Jesus and decided instead I was the Devil, not an Angel flying off to Sea-Tac.
It Ain't Nice to Profit from Hard Working Cabbies
As I have recently noted, not every medallion finance company had agreed to the great compromise allowing the NYC cabbies some relief from insane mortgage rates, with many still losing their medallions to roving repo men. In protest, a convoy of cabbies from NYC drove all the way to the headquarters of the bad faith company, O'Brien-Staley Partners in Edina, Minnesota, saying this isn't fair and what are you going to do about it? OPS, as the company is known, and the holder of 323 medallions, bowed to political pressure today, and has agreed to sign on to the medallion readjustment package. Greed isn't pretty when its in the spotlight, and now how happy all the cabbies are! getting the opportunity to once again work themselves to death. Hurray!