Wednesday, May 17, 2023

State Of Illinois Bill 2231 Challenges Uber And Lyft Definition Of "Common Carrier:" Why This Is Important & Minnesota State Senate And House Bills SF2319/HF2369 & Progressive's Insurance Rates Increasing & Lyft Is For Sale & Spread The Word: iCabbi Driver App Is Coming Soon To Seattle Yellow Cab & NYC Cabbie Saves Royal's Buttock

Lyft Says It Holds No Responsibility Whatsoever For Driver Conduct 

I encourage everyone to pay attention to what is happening in Illinois because Uber and Lyft have shown that they have no interest in taking responsibility for what "their" drivers do.  The case that spawned this new bill making Uber and Lyft common carriers was a lawsuit made by a passenger against Lyft after she was raped by a Lyft driver.  Due to a 2014 law exempting Uber and Lyft from being a common carrier, her suit was denied.  The outrage is what is behind this new effort to hold TNC companies accountable.  Of course Uber and Lyft are threatening to no longer do business in Illinois.  And don't think this is anything new, because in Uber's online training sessions they specifically state to take all problems to them first and not the police.  Uber and Lyft should be held culpable in all 50 states and in all the countries they operate in.  Otherwise, you the passenger are not safe.  It is that simple.  

And Uber and Lyft are Threatening to Leave Minnesota 

Why are they saying they will pack up and leave?  Because state legislators want Minnesota TNC drivers to make something like a living wage.  Uber and Lyft always provide the same argument: they can't afford to pay more.  Does Uber and Lyft believe in a new version of modern slavery?   The answer is obvious.

Watch Your Credit Scores

Progressive Insurance has announced it will be upping its rates soon.  As it is a prime taxicab insurer in Seattle and King County, that is worrisome.  They will be checking your credit scores, and if low, you are going to pay more.  And in the state of Washington, there is nothing you can do about it!   How is that for a kick in the ass!  Ouch!

Want to Buy Lyft?

Its new CEO has announced that they will take offers for the company.  Bye, bye Lyft?  Maybe.

New Dispatch System coming to Puget Sound Dispatch (Seattle Yellow Cab)

It's called iCabbi and soon it will be in all local Yellow cabs.  Check out the training video on YouTube.  Inform yourself.

Prince Harry Knows Who He Can Trust

While in NYC, British Royal Prince Harry and wife were chased by photographers.  How to escape the maddening horde?   Jump in a NYC cab.  They gave the driver 50 bucks for a $17.00 fare.  Good for him.

PS: the courageous cabbie's name is Sukcharn Singh.  Bravo!

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

The Economic Reality Of Driving A Cab In Seattle: Paying $18,000 Before You Have Made A Dime & Puget Sound Dispatch Remains The Same & I Am Officially Out Of Taxi: I Sold My Medallion

 I Still Can't Believe I Didn't Understand What I Was Paying to Own and Drive a Cab

It is pretty straightforward.  Each year as a taxi owner aligned with Seattle Yellow Cab (Puget Sound Dispatch), I had to earn $18,000 dollars before I made a penny of profit, insurance and dispatch fees eating up all that money.  That I did that for years, and and that over two hundred Yellow cabbies are still throwing away their time and money says nothing good about us and the industry in general.  While agreeing Uber is immoral, what the hell is moral about working yourself to death, filling the pockets of insurance companies and Puget Sound Dispatch board members who could care less whether we live or die?  It is a ridiculous scenario requiring a serious rewrite, freeing the taxicab owners from a senseless routine.  How can this madness continue.?  Looking now from the outside, I realize I was insane.  No argument.  I was insane.

And dividing $18,000 by $30.00 per hour gives you 600 hours to make that $18,000.  Further dividing 12 (as in 12 hour days) into 600, it comes out to 50 days; in other terms, nearly two months to earn all that money flushed down the taxi toilet.  Again folks, this is nuts, making me a walnut, an almond but certainly not functionally human, instead only a kind of mindless machine.  Welcome to the Age of Robots.

Nothing New at PSD

Last week a taxi buddy took a call in Zone 125, on NE 75th.  Turns out the passenger was instead waiting in Zone 135, on NW 75th, some miles away.  The customer, desperate to get  to Bellevue, convinced my friend to pick him up.  Upon dropping off at an Eastside hotel, he found another Yellow Cab customer desperate to get downtown,  having waited too long for a never arriving taxi.  Of course, this is all old news, a dysfunctional dispatch and not enough cabs to handle the available business.  Does the City of Seattle or King County care, let alone do anything about this?   Of course not. 

Cheap But I Don't Care

I sold my 1092 medallion for only $1000.00 to someone who really wanted it.   Remember, before Uber and Lyft destroyed the local cab industry, those medallions were worth $325,000.  Funny, huh?  Are you laughing?

Monday, May 1, 2023

Deceptive Practices: Uber Lied To Me & South Africa Taxi Wars

Does Uber's App Have a Mind of its Own?

Has a new Hal ( as in the 1968 movie "A Space Odyssey") taken over Uber's app, providing messages that simply are not true?  The app has been telling me that riders have requested me personally, and after signing up for one of these reservations this past Saturday at 6:00 PM, I found out these folks had no idea who I was, having never met me before.  Having pulled up to the address, I was puzzled, having no recollection of giving these folks an Uber ride previously.  And before and since I have continued to receive these false, misleading messages.  Why and how this is happening I can't tell you.  As I have said perviously, Uber is opaque, making it impossible to really know what is reality or not.  I also know that Hal isn't going to tell me what is going on, that's for sure.  That would be too easy.  

Brutal South African Taxi Wars

The country of South Africa has this very large minibus taxi industry and for decades now, rival associations and drivers have been at war, with thousands murdered.  The problem is so bad, South African police have their own "taxi violence" units especially created to deal with these "mafia-like" killings.  

South Africa has 200,000 minibus taxis with 300,000 taxi drivers carrying on average over 15 million passengers daily.  Obviously then, there is a lot of money involved, an estimated nationwide annual revenue of over 1.5 billion dollars.  South Africa is the Murder Capitol of the world, and it is said that 43% of all assassinations in that country from the years 2000-2017 were due to taxi conflicts.  

And I thought the industry here in Seattle was problematic.  Turns out we are very polite in comparison.  All I do is shout at Uber and now I am driving Uber.   See how nice we all are?