Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Call Me "The Taxi Turncoat"---My Last Days Driving A Taxi & Early Sunday Morning I Saved A Life

 I will miss the camaraderie 

Saturday, February 25th, 2023, will be my last day beneath the toplight.  The 26th of each month is when my $539.00 insurance payment is withdrawn from my back account, making my decision for me.  Next week I will have all the Yellow Taxi regalia removed from the cab in preparation to do something I thought I would never ever consider: drive for Uber.  

My justification is simple enough, having tired "feeding the taxi dinosaur," a creature now extinct while sinking, slowly disappearing into the primordial muck.  All feeble roars aside, it is past time to say goodbye because Uber and Lyft won the transportation battle, the war is over.   

All of us surviving cabbies remind me of the post-WWII Japanese holdouts who refused to acknowledge that the war ended in 1945, that Japan lost and it was time to go home.  A Sergeant Shoichi Yokoi wandered in the jungles on the island of Guam for nearly 27 years before finally being captured.  Unlike that loyal soldier, I lift my arms up and yell, "I surrender, you win!" because financially, it makes little sense to continue.   

As I have written, my "nut," before I earn a dime, is $1500.00.  With Uber, my monthly insurance cost is $132.00.  As you can obviously see, there is no comparison.  As much as I didn't want to admit it, Craig Leisy, in his tome concerning Seattle taxi and TNC, was totally prescient when writing that Seattle's taxi industry would one day disappear.  It has but no one wants to admit it.  Me, I'm sick of shouting at the sky.  It's over, at least for me, it's over.

His Orange Jacket Saved Him

Early Sunday morning, at 12:17 AM, I was speeding northbound on Aurora Avenue North when a homeless man, having climbed over the medium barrier separating the north and southbound lanes, walked directly in front of my cab, a distance of about 40-50 feet forward.  Slamming the brakes, putting the cab nearly horizontal, I barely missed him, his orange jacket alerting me to his presence.  He was damn lucky it was me driving.  Anyone else would have killed him.  I first started driving a car when I was 12.   I have lots of practice.  Hard to teach that kind of life saving maneuver.  Yes, I could be a race car driver but no thanks, no excessive speeds for me.   I'll take it slow.

1 comment:

  1. Or maybe my screen name should be ex taxi anonymous, he he, just wanted to say thanks for all the witty commentary and taxi folklore through this blog it's about to strike midnight on your last night, here, I'm buying you a drink and lowering it down on 145th, good luck with the evil empire, ex taxi brethren and safe fareing !!