Watch Out for Those Bus Lane Cameras!
On January 17th, I am scheduled in Seattle Municipal Court for not one, not two, not three but four camera generated bus lane violations, having all of a sudden become a serial lawbreaker. How could that be, someone ever vigilant concerning school-zone and red light intersection cameras, somehow deciding it is now okay to blatantly violate rules governing bus lane restrictions enforced by the City of Seattle?
If it were only that simple, having suddenly lost my mind, and in a holiday mood, gifting the City $75.00 times four. Though the truth is more prosaic, the signage in all four cases not obvious, with one sign shrouded in darkness. The question then is, is this all intentional on the City of Seattle's part, proactively making it difficult to see and understand what is posted; in other words, is Seattle engaged in a kind of entrapment?
Of course on January 17th, the good City of Seattle lawyers will say otherwise but I will ask them why do the Red-light cameras feature bright colors when, in comparison, these new bus lane and lane blocking cameras signs are painted in mundane, nondescript black and white, mimicking ordinary non-punitive street signs. And some of the bus lane warning signs face in only one direction, meaning you can change lanes and unknowingly, be in violation. Again, is all this deliberate or instead another bad example of uncaring, sloppy bureaucracy? I will be asking for reason and commonsense. Will I receive it? I will let you know how this fighting City Hall goes, this tilting at windmills.
I have even thought of recruiting that stalwart, beaming light of taxicab justice, the illustrious taxi lawyer, Doug Silva but since there are no moving violations involved, he might not be interested in what is in reality complete nonsense. Of the many folks I have met during my taxi years, Doug will always be a big favorite, indeed a friend to the "downtrodden and beaten into the ground" cabbie. While missing my interactions with Doug, I don't miss getting the once commonplace moving violation ticket, those red flashing lights shining in your rearview mirror. No fun at all.
Taxi Dispatch Line Is Latest Target for Hackers, U.S. Says
This is the title of a NY Times Thursday, December 22, 2022 article reported by Benjamin Weiser and Nate Schweber concerning shenanigans occurring on the taxi line at New York's John F. Kennedy airport. The article's first two paragraphs pretty much sums up what happened:
"Russian hackers have carried out cyberattacks on hospitals, oil and gas companies, a presidential election and a massive fuel pipeline. But cyberwarfare reached a new battlefield on Tuesday when the authorities said that two Queens men working with Russians had been able to hack the electronic taxi dispatch system at Kennedy International Airport."
"The goal?" To allow taxi drivers in a holding lot waiting to pick up their next fare to jump the line---for a $10.00 fee."
I find the story amusing because usually hackers are going after bigger fish than desperate cabbies trying to nab a $52.00 flat rate fare heading back down to Manhattan. The two bad guys orchestrating this scheme have been indicted, a Mister Daniel Abayev and his friend, Peter Leyman. It seems this hack has been occurring since sometime 2019. You think someone might have noticed, or objected that some cabbies were getting to the head of the line before everyone else. There is no mention of any of the thieving cabbies being punished. Obviously the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey should give those drivers a lifetime ban. Doing that would send a strong message. Would the usual stubborn cabbie take heed and start behaving? Probably not.
Good Chow Now Available for the Hungry Seattle Cabbie---Drive-in/Dine-in/Call for pickup
Two Seattle outlets of "Aliberto's Jr Real Fresh Mexican Food" have recently opened. Big burritos for $7.79 including tax. Delicious and filling. Plus many other items on the menu. Open early and late. go online and check out their menu.
2425 4th Ave South---206-588-0101
14300 Aurora Ave North---206-466-5626
The food is really good. And most importantly, digestible, meaning they are using good ingredients. This is high quality fast food. McDonald's etc makes me sick but not Aliberto's. Don't be a clown. Chow down!
Thank You, Puget Sound Dispatch, for the Holiday Feast
This past Wednesday, Yellow Cab (PSD) put on an incredible spread of Ethiopian cooking for all of us drivers. The food was amazing, reminding I need to start going out to more Ethiopian restaurants. I love the injera bread, sopping up all those delicious spicy concoctions. Happy Holidays, everyone.
Another Example of Why Driving Taxi Makes Little Sense
Unusually cold icy wintery weather kept me off the roads until rain washed all the trouble away late Friday night into Saturday morning. What I am now facing is having to make a full week's money in three days. And what became obvious is that this December 24th Christmas Eve day was an up and down day. As I have noted previously, each week I have a $195.00 dispatch fee "nut" to crack. Given I ended the day with two airports runs, I covered the dispatch fee but did I truly make any profit despite working over 12 hours? Hardly and that is the problem currently driving a cab in Seattle. Too many hours are expended merely covering your overhead, and to my mind, that ain't cool and not something I want to continue. Screw this pouring all my labor down the taxi drain. What a bloody waste!
PS on Comment 12/27/22:
Thanks for the funny comment, pointing out I misspelled bread, instead making it a beard, something less than eatable.