Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Taking A Murderer By The Hand Is A Fatal Idea: The Uber And New York City Taxi Collaboration & Mt Laundry & O'Brien-Staley Partners Capitulate

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!


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  2. So no mention of your buddy Rick finally calling it a day after 4 decades of doing this? Did he have more years on the clock than you?

    Uber has had "UberTaxi" in Seattle for years now, but it's really only Flat Rate cabs. They take 15% commission, and have a different rate structure. They still lose, having to feed the beast. But I bet those guys on the ground will be more than happy to start doubling their trips immediately if Uber actually dispatches them any rides, or riders actually choose them all the way in the back of the app where it's hidden.

    You can go ahead & try yourself to find UberTaxi on the Uber app here. It will be tough and most lazy entitled snobs don't bother.

  3. If you look up the current job ads on Uber's corporate website, you will see they are looking for individuals for their new project termed UberFleet. Looks like they are aiming and planning to be THE dispatcher for all types of transportation fleets out there. Taxis, shuttles, limos, maybe even medical transportation also. Again, won't have to bother buying a single car but will control the industry and take a huge chunk out of it. Be wary, local Seattle taxi officials have already admitted looking to speak with a "national player" who could offer taxi services via app nationally.

    If not Uber, who else? Flywheel has been dead and buried long ago. And Yellow demanded none of their drivers at the time sign up with them.

  4. And for reference, at least 1 of those positions was here locally in Seattle. They already have had people acting on their behalf infiltrate the highest reaches of the local transportation industry, be it taxi, limousine, and collecting as much information as possible.

    Be it the gentlemen who used to help run Tacoma Yellow Cab who supposedly embezzled tens of thousands from their coffers before they were disbanded & used it to purchase a brand new luxury SUV & drive under a new account while they claim new Uber luxury accounts have been closed for years.

    And the individuals who have networked and infiltrated the top limousine companies in Seattle, attempting to get as much info as possible on their contracts and customer base, and daily operations even. There is no limit to what they're capable of, and what makes the news is just the tip of iceberg.

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