Taxi Strike: Over Hyped Non-Event

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Ok, could this taxi strike be any more over hyped?  I mean are you kidding?  7,000 cabbies at MOST will be out of service.  That means the remaining 37,000 cabbies will be out on the streets picking up the scraps.

So I’d fully expect to see absolutely no change in your day.  At worst, it’s going to be about as hard to get a cab as it would be on a rainy day.  A little harder, but not insane.

Just in case, the city’s OEM has released a plan (read here).  Here’s a snippet:

The MTA will be providing additional service on the M60 and Q33 bus routes to/from LGA. The M60 transports riders between LGA and Manhattan, running along 125th Street and making connections with the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, A, B, C, and D subway lines, as well as Metro-North Railroad. The Q33 connects LGA with the 74th St. – Broadway Station in Jackson Heights, Queens, where connections to the 7, E, F, R, V, and G subway lines is available. Travelers at JFK can use the AirTrain to connect to the A train at the Howard Beach station, or the E, J, and Z trains at the Sutphin Boulevard station.

So, all they have to do is put a few extra buses in service, and we’re in business.

Honestly, the only people I could see being put out by this whole thing are the tourists coming out of Grand Central, Penn Station, or the airports.  Everyone else will figure it out.

We might see a little extra volume on the subways, but I’m not worrying about it.

This whole issue is such a crock in the first place.  The cabbies AGREED to the GPS systems when the city agreed to the last TWO fare hikes!  It was part of the f*cking deal.  Now, it’s time to shut up, and hold up their end of the deal.  Why are 37,000 other cabbies not kicking up a fuss?  Because they know what they agreed to in the negotiations.

7 thoughts on “Taxi Strike: Over Hyped Non-Event

  1. Do you have a link for where they agreed to the GPS with the fare hike? That link goes to MTA’s website and anyone reading this should know the subway’s $2 🙂

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  2. Well, here’s one for starters.

    http://www.gothamgazette.com/article/transportation/20040224/16/889

    Notice the part where it says:

    “…a fare hike, broadly supported by taxi owners and drivers, has won editorial endorsement in the city’s papers and apparently some combination of acceptance and support from taxi riders.”

    Also note that the article was published in February 2004! So the cabbies have had allllllll this time to get used to the new regulation.

    Also, here’s a TLC Press release from January 28, 2004. http://www.nyc.gov/html/tlc/html/news/press04_01.shtml

    It clearly states the new technology requirements. If they didnt want to comply, they should have fought it then. Of course, they didn’t because they wanted the pay raise.

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  3. I actually can understand their complaints about the GPS. The GPS really serves little purpose to consumers & drivers. The GPS units in question don’t provide directions which is the main point to GPS to begin with.

    I would be concerned about the privacy issue as well if I was a driver. What is the point for a GPS that does not offer directions? Who is to say it won’t be used to track drivers when they are on breaks or off the job?

    The other major concern would be the loss of funds when credit cards are used. The last major concern is the issue of lost fares if the GPS goes down.

    IMO these issues are important enough to justify their complaints. Did the city inform drivers about the lack of capabilities these units would have when an agreement was reached ?

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  4. Actually, the GPS serves many good uses.

    1) Passengers can see their route. They’ll be able to see the “path” of where they got in to where they get out. This will keep dishonest cabbies from taking advantage of tourists. If you can see that the cab is clearly going out of it’s way, you can’t be taken advantage of. I tourist may not know where they’re going, but they can certainly tell if they are going in a circles.

    2) This is just the first phase of technology. Once the systems are on board, the software / firmware can be updated to allow more advanced features.

    3) So what if cabbies are being watched? It’s not their personal vehicle. And they dont have the “right” to be a cab driver, they have the privilege of having a medalion.

    4) Just like any retail outlet, the cabs could have an old fashioned carbon sheet credit card form for when the machines break down. They can take an impression of the card and turn it in later.

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  5. I think it’s a stretch to say cabbies “agreed” to the GPS systems when the city agreed to the last two fare hikes, or to imply that there were some kind of “negotiations.” Drivers didn’t “agree” to anything. The TLC makes decisions on fare hikes, and drivers have no real say, beyond making comments at public hearings. And, by the way, while you’re right that they welcomed the idea of a fare increase, they HAVE been fighting the GPS thing ever since it was first brought up three years ago. It’s just never gotten much media attention till now.

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  6. Ok yeah, there was no contract or formal negotiation. However, they are represented by unions that have a significant influence.

    The TLC didnt just wake up one day and say, “Hey, I bet the cab drivers would like a fare hike…what do you think?” No, instead the cabbies and unions petitioned (for lack of a better term) the TLC to consider the fare hikes. That opened the whole can of worms.

    So at the time that they were lobbying for the fare hikes was the time to lobby to have the GPS idea removed. It’s a little too late now.

    Just think how nuts they are going to be when they have to start buying all hybrid cabs! Once the Crown Vics start getting retired in large numbers, they will complain about that too.

    However, a fair compromise would be to require that all NEW cabs have the GPS system. That way old cabs dont have to install it only to have to install it again on a new cab in 6 months or a year.

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