Thursday, July 30, 2015

Rumor has it

I'm hearing that the judge may rule in our favor. That he won't completely kick Uber out of the county but he will order them to comply with the rules and regulations in place. That, in itself, will effectively remove them from the county because they are classified as a limo service which would require them to charge a minimum of 30 to 50 dollars an hour with a minimum of one hour advance notice of ride. This is something they have been unwilling to accept anywhere they go.

 They believe they are special. They believe the rules do not apply for them. They believe they should be exempt. I'm glad that the law does not see it that way. I could be wrong but all of this makes sense. A reasonable judge with a rational mind and a firm understanding of the principles of law, could not reach any other conclusion than Uber is an illegal service.

They are running a taxi cab company regardless of high tech equipment. I will be glad when this plague is gone and I can get back to make him a legitimate income.
posted from Bloggeroid

Monday, July 27, 2015

The deep end of transportation

I have been diving deep, way deep in the pool. In fact, it has been raining so hard in Tampa, I have needed a snorkel to take my failures on a ride. The rain has been coming down so hard, major rivers have been flooding and people have been told to evacuate their homes. Fortunately I have managed to stay on high ground when I have been working. But when I am at play, I take it to the deep end of the pool.

Perhaps, this is a sort of metaphor for living in the deep end of life. I do admit, that I was unexpectedly pushed into the deep end by the ascent of rideshare and uber. This phenomena has left me in a war stance footing. I check my feeds every few hours to see if the judge in Tampa has ruled in favor of the County Transportation Commission. In the world I live in, that would be the easy right and necessary thing to do. I have no idea what is taking this judge this long to make a decision. Uber was in clear violation of all regulations. They were ethically and morally reprehensible in their activities and dealings with the law in Tampa Bay Florida.

 If you think this law or all taxi laws are wrong, then work to have the industry de-regulated like the airlines were decades ago. In that case free market principles would aply in all sorts of discount carriers would emerge from the rubble. Unfortunately, the taxi industry in Tampa is highly regulated. What is so hard about this for this judge to understand?

You could not open a hot dog stand or a barber shop or any other small business without the proper permits licenses and insurance. Am I really parking up the wrong tree or kicking a dead dog. I know my critics say f* it and just go join Uber. But it does not work that way. Just because they have a great concept and is slick application, does not bring legitimacy and legality to their operations. Seriously, if there is something I have stated here that is incorrect, or not clear, or is a falsehood, please let me know. In the meantime, I will use this snorkel to take my fares where Uber will not go. 

posted from Bloggeroid

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Tropical storms over Florida

It is raining 24 hours a day in Tampa. Many of the roads are flooded and it will be with us a while. The storms have actually been around for almost three weeks. This is why I have only been able to get in only two workouts in the last 20 days. Don't get me wrong. It has been good for business (we get busy when it rains) but I need to swim. My health is on the line and I need to get back to it. We do live in the sub-tropics, so rain in the summer is no surprise.

posted from Bloggeroid

Friday, July 24, 2015

Mark, Bill, and Tony

Many of the cab drivers who I have taken photos of over the years are dead. I found this group image taken in holding at the airport because it shows three friends of mine. Just wanted to get the photo on the record.

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Before there was Uber

All day long I had to listen on talk radio how wonderful Uber is and how much taxis suck. All the major shows and FOX news were extolling the virtues of Uber. Do you know how much that cuts? I have been a professional cab driver for 20 years and have given outstanding service. I have never had one complaint. I have been proud of what I've done. Now, amateur drivers have taken the bread out of my mouth.

I feel that the industry and the cab owners have let me down. As Donald Trump would say, the cab owners in America are stupid, and have always been blinded by short sighted greed (note their activity during the recession). They should have seen it coming. The cab companies are like Kodak was when digital took over. They did not change with the times. Now, Robert Redford will soon be knocking on their door (a reference most cab owners will not get).
posted from Bloggeroid

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Swimming times dropping

This is me seconds after setting a personal best in a 200 yard freestyle interval since my comeback. Today was aerobic distance day and the last set were 200 yards. My last one was 4:51 which is the first time I've gone under five minutes since I started on April 12. It took me 6:22 a few weeks ago. Look at the muscular development in my shoulders and upper body. This exercise is having a positive effect. I now believe I will get there if I just keep putting in the work.

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The taxi graveyard

Last July not one cab was available for lease at United Cab. Logisticare was running hot, guys made money, and a waiting list existed. Oh what a difference a year makes. The lot this morning was overflowing with taxi cabs. It looks like a junk yard - a junk yard of dreams and unfilled expectations.

If the injunction against Uber is not upheld, its curtains for us. The company may survive at a smaller size, holding up with a small fleet big enough for the airport. But, maybe not. Uber is crushing us.

I have enough in bond to head for Las Vegas. May 5, 2016 is when I head out west. I've chased a false dream for too many years. Time to get excited again.

posted from Bloggeroid

Monday, July 20, 2015

Tampa vs Uber in court

The HCPTC hauled Uber into court Friday. They were suing for an injunction to stop the illegal uber. The taxi industry was represented by the Holland and Knight Law Firm. That is one of the top firms in the state of Florida. In fact, the Florida Bar Association website, in its ethics section, links to the Holland and Knight websites detailed explanation of ethical law.

 The case was laid out in front of a judge clearly showing the violations and non compliance of the arrogant Uber company. The judge heard both sides and will make a decision soon. I feel confident that our case was giving the best representation possible. It is obvious that Uber is violating established law. It is now up to the philosophy of the judge as to whether he is an activist or is willing to maintain the status quo. It is out of our hands now and all we can do is wait and hope that we live in a just universe. Regardless of outcome, my life will move on one direction or another. So I guess you can say we do live and exciting times, clearly not.
posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Martin Mannes arrested in Key West for being an Uber driver

Key West Uber driver was arrested Friday for allegedly running a vehicle for hire without a city license to do so.

The arrest of Martin Maness, 51, came following a recent city Police Department notice that the department would crack down on unlicensed vehicle-for-hire drivers. Department spokeswoman Alyson Crean said Friday's arrest followed complaints that Uber drivers were picking up fares from Key West International Airport. She said she didn't know who filed the complaints.

Maness is charged with two misdemeanor counts of violating the city's ordinance after an undercover police officer received a ride from Key West International on South Roosevelt Boulevard to the Reach Resort at 1435 Simonton St. He was booked into jail around 10:40 p.m. and bailed out early Saturday morning on $701 bond.

Uber and Lyft, a similar company not operating in Key West, use freelance drivers operating their own vehicles. Crean said Mannes knew about the crackdown but said he picked up fares anyway because the money was worth it.

Uber has had problems operating all over the world, with local governments saying its drivers violate local laws. Just last week, Uber pulled out of Broward County, citing the hassles.

Mannes could receive up to 60 days in jail and be fined $500.

Undercover Key West police cited two Uber drivers on Dec. 20 for failing to have the vehicle-for-hire license. Richard Owen Uhl, 61, has a hearing scheduled for Aug. 8 in front of Monroe County Circuit Court Judge Peary Fowler. Henry Braxton Allen, 34, is also due in court Aug. 5 before County Judge Wayne Miller.

Key West vehicle-for-hire licenses are limited and none have been available for more than 20 years. Ways to get a license would be to buy an existing one from another license holder or the City Commission could hold a public hearing on requests for new licenses in October of each even-numbered year.

Assuming new licenses are deemed necessary, they would be distributed on a random basis. The last drawing of taxi licenses took place in 1992.

posted from Bloggeroid

Yanet Garcia is Mexico's favorite weather lady

If everyone around you suddenly seems really interested in catching the weather forecast every day, Yanet Garcia may be the reason why. Garcia, a weatherwoman for Mexican TV network Televisa Monterrey, has basically broken the Internet in Mexico, with people comparing her to Kim Kardashian and calling her the hottest weather anchor ever.

posted from Bloggeroid

Monday, July 13, 2015

Bloom County is back!!!

Bloom County and "Bill the Cat" are back!! So is David Letterman!! All of this because of Donald Trump running for President. He says each day will provide a top ten list. I just posted a video on YouTube in favor of Jeb Bush and the Trump supporters are destroying it for their support of Bill the Cat (Donald Trump). This is going to be a big thing folks.
posted from Bloggeroid

Uber storm on the horizon

Thunder crackles in the distance as I wait for a call on my tablet. Summer storms in Central Florida are one of the few predictable things left in my life. There is another storm brewing on the horizon and it will involve the future of all connected to the transportation industry In Tampa. There is a county commission meeting Friday which will be the final meeting to decide the fate of uber in the Tampa Bay area. These meetings have been going on for a year and a half and I'm at least relieved to know that some end may be in sight. It just seems to me that the rideshare companies have been dragging this out to gain time and an advantage. The real advantage may be ours in 20 days.

There have been many things I have counted on in my life to bring psychological security. One of those has been a sense of reliability in the systems that are in place to ensure order and our society. That, combined with a sense of right and wrong, allowed me to sleep well at night. I knew when I awakened in the morning that I would be facing predictability. Now, a company has come along that ignores all the rules that apply to their realm of operation and they have been getting away with that. This is wrong. This must stop. The rule of law and order must pre-sale.

Do not be confused people. Just because someone has a slick application and a novel business model, does not mean that they have any integrity, honor, or commitment to the community in which they operate. The transportation industry in Tampa is regulated to ensure the protection of the public and provide reliable insurance that folks will be picked up in a timely manner. Yes, there are antidotes about people being stranded by a rude taxi drivers, poor service, and so forth. But to be realistic about it, you can find those complaints in literally all industries. There is nothing about transportation that would make it immune from these type of urban myths.

The truth is that everyone benefits when you have rules in place. This is not just about a temporary cheap discount to gain a foothold and destroy businesses that have been in place for years, this is about serving a community and all of its residents, not just the hip people, the rich people, the coffee Cafe people, While ignoring a wide swath of the population that is poor and locks technology. I really hope the judge in this case will do the right thing as they have done in other counties in Florida, and throw these Uber bums out of town. Thank you.
posted from Bloggeroid

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Key West Uber drivers face arrest

Uber faces another battle for its drivers in South Florida.

Uber drivers in Key West will face arrest and a possible $500 fine if caught driving without a passenger vehicle-for-hire license, following a city ordinance that went into effect on July 1.

The ordinance, which city commissioners approved last year, says it is illegal for Uber or any other ride service to operate passenger vehicles-for-hire without the proper licenses. Key West spokeswoman Alyson Crean said drivers without this license can be arrested, although no arrests have been made.

Crean says the ordinance has to do with city liability, since Uber takes passengers on city roads. Uber uses freelance drivers operating their own vehicles; passengers hire them via an app.

Uber spokesman Bill Gibbons says the company hopes Key West officials rethink the ordinance.

"It is unconscionable that [Key West] would seek to limit safe, reliable transportation ahead of one of the deadliest weekends of the year for drunk driving-related incidents. We hope the city will reconsider and work with us,’’ Gibbons told the Keynoter before the Fourth of July.

Under the ordinance, Uber drivers who do not have the vehicle-for-hire license face up to 60 days in jail and/or a $500 fine. These licenses are capped and have not been available for 20 years, the Keynoter reported
posted from Bloggeroid

Friday, July 10, 2015

The only thing that matters

Swimming is the only thing that matters to me anymore. Today was the 90 day mark of my cardio campaign to rrestore my health.  My aerobic ability is skyrocketing and I have lost 7.5 lbs. That belies the fact that I have also gained muscle mass. I MUST DO THIS. It is keeping me alive. What is barely keeping me alive is the taxi business.

Uber and Lyft have taken 90% of our top business. They have left us with poor people in the bad part of town, who call us to go to the corner store and the laundry mat. The fares are a few dollars with little tip. Only the medical charges and the airport keep me going.

I have $34 in my wallet. That is my net worth. The economic recession took from me. My expenses have gone up ( my lease is $100 a day and I have to buy the gas.) I waited years for things to get better. Now, Uber and Lyft are the final nail in a dying industry.

It seems technology has changed the nature of work. Other industries have phones, book stores, video rental, to name a few. This revolution happened fast. We were caught flat footed.

I know I'm going to be evicted, and will soon be on the streets. No matter what, I need my health. I can't wait until tomorrow because the weather will be good and I can go swimming.
posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

We went camping

Hula girl and I went camping last week at Hillsborough River State Park. My apartment was being tented and we had to find a place to stay. Summer time in Florida is not when I would normally want to do this. We did get lucky. There where no bugs out there because rain has been missing the area.

I took a hike on a 3.4 mile segment of the Florida Trail. That was fun but I did sweet like crazy. I saw a lot of interesting things while I was back there. There is even a primitive campsite that I want to camp at during the cooler months.

Even though it was hot, I did have a campfire. Too hot for a tent so I slept in the taxi.
posted from Bloggeroid

Monday, July 6, 2015

Cuomo must go!

I got a five dollar bill from a fare that said "Cuomo Must Go!" The fact that it found its way from New York to Florida is not odd. Florida is the number one tourist destination in the world and New Yorkers love to come here. What I did not know was there was a move afoot to get rid of him. I don't know much about the politics but it seems he is doing a decent job. I can't say that about the other Italian running the city.

There was a move afoot to get rid of Florida governor Rick Scott. He faced a close reelection bid from former governor Charlie Crist. They even had medical marijuana on the ballots to draw our the libs, save the whales, and militant vegetarians. Scott was still elected. Charlie at least informed the people that they were electing a criminal. Regrettably, Scott has done a good job.

Now, what is the problem with Cuomo?

posted from Bloggeroid

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Forth of July fireworks

The rain cleared just in time to allow citizens to exercise their constitutional right to blast off fireworks. I had my share but my lighter malfunctioned (Elena took it and I had to use old matches). I will see what I can do tomorrow. There are always people letting off leftovers. Happy Forth of July folks.

posted from Bloggeroid

Happy 4th of July

May everyone have a safe and fun independence day. I'm planning on a chill cook out. No beach this year. Too many shark attacks.
posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Sandbagging makes no sense

As I sat for 2 hours this morning trying to sandbag an order, the tablet was lit up with orders. I had to reject call after call and I still did nor get the call. Jackamino was willing to sit on it for 3 hours. This is insane. I could have made just as much picking orders off the computer. I certainly would have had more fun doing that. This whole sandbag thing is wearing me down. A tenacious competitor who is willing to reconstruct his life to beat me is something I do not need in my life. I don't have the energy and I need more of a sure thing. Becoming a cab driver again is a sure thing.
posted from Bloggeroid


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