Hiding behind the smokescreens

Taxi drivers  hate Uber-X . Passengers love Uber-X. But the authorities will hide behind any number of firewalls and smokescreens to avoid facing up to the real issues. They are loathe to act, because to do so would require them to confront the reasons why Uber-X was able to muscle in to the passenger transport industry in the first place.,

Fact One: Taxi plates are grossly over-priced. When passive “investors” send the cost of owning  or leasing a taxi sky-high, then both Drivers AND Passengers suffer hugely, in the form of low incomes and high fares, respectively.  A colleague of is leasing a taxi, paying $1350 a week in leasing fees  and another $200 or so for fuel – so he needs  to take at least $1550 in fares before he makes ANYTHING at all for himself. Other lessee drivers are paying even more – up to $1600 a week PLUS fuel in some cases.

Little wonder, then, that most drivers are super-stressed. And if they take that out on their passengers, then that can only be described as collateral damage

One solution that has been advanced is for the government to buy back plates and then reissue them at a fair value.  And if greedy investors lose a little in the process, then so be it!

Fact Two: Most cabbies are in the game for the wrong reason. Putting the customer first seems to be a foreign concept to most drivers (including myself, most of the time, I gotta admit). Why else would looking after veterans, helping disabled passengers and carrying out short fares be regarded with such disdain?

The solution: Give even silent praise to drivers who rise above expectations. Pity those drivers whose bad karma is going to send them ever lower down the evolutionary ladder until the last rung is kicked out from under them.

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