Local Seattle taxi drivers are angry. The complaint comes from the new rideshare type companies in Seattle. Taxi owners feel they are stuck because their prices are controlled by the City of Seattle while these other type of transportation services are not. Mike Judd, the owner of Yellow Taxi, has a good point in my opinion and he says, “These guys don’t have business licenses, the drivers, they don’t have proper insurance, they’re doing a tremendous bite into our business and undercutting our rates that are regulated by the city and undercutting the safety of the public…” I do agree with that for the most part. I don’t agree with the public safety. Taxi’s are no safer than any of the other newer transportation options available. Common Mike Judd we all know how these Taxi drivers drive around town lets be real.
The Seattle Council has a meeting scheduled tonight with the committee on taxi for-hire and limousines. Who knew there was a committee to handle Taxi’s! Sounds like more wasted money to me. None the less, that is the situation for now. What I find most interesting is that in public, TV, and in ads they push and encourage more options for riders. They want the public to use the other public transportation options available. They want people to rideshare to work. Leave your car at home and ride to work or ride the bus – we have all seen this type of propaganda. EXCEPT – when they start to lose money because they are overpriced and new companies/solutions are readily available. That is NOT ok with the City and they must be shut down or highly regulated quickly.
What happened to capitalism and entrepreneurship? These companies have found a solution that a lot of Seattle residents are embracing. The demand is high and this is what American is about. It’s about being creative, finding a new solution, and that includes competitiveness for businesses. They are considerably less and easier to work with. You can order a ride from you mobile phone! Some of these newer solutions just ask for a donation for the driver. Another named UberX charges similar rates as the taxi’s but doesn’t require tips. These are just creative options and in my opinion the more options and competitiveness the better.
It’s a shame I feel the City is going to side with the taxi drivers on this one due to the money and regulations involved for the City. I feel, however, if the taxi drivers would actually clean up their acts, lower their fees, and COMPETE they actually may do quite well. With the monopoly in place there are no reason to do anything. They can continue to be rude, blow off pickup times, keep their cars filthy, and continue to only shower once a week. Why change anything when you’re the only option available? Time for a change and time to allow entrepreneurship to grow. This is supposed to be America after all.