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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

NYC Taxi Strike Annoys Many, Impacts Little

Apparently I was ill-informed this morning as I waited to flag down a taxi to go to work. I had heard my taxi driver the previous day ask another driver if he was striking tomorrow (ie, today), but I thought he was just retarded (he wasn't a very good driver).

But alas, after waiting a good 10 minutes to flag down a cab, to no avail, I ended up walking to work... angrily.

I don't understand the taxi strike. It seems to me that there were still a bunch of taxis on the streets this morning. I thought a strike meant that they don't work. This was just confusing. Apparently this strike was pretty lame and did more to just piss people off than actually make an impact, considering apparently 73% of the taxi cab force was on the road today, versus the normal 93%. That's hardly an impact.

I take issue with this strike for a number of reasons:

1) It was just a confusing annoyance. Not enough cabs were off the road for it to be considered a "strike". A more appropriate moniker would be something more like "collusion" and price-fixing", since the cabbies on the road are charging each passenger $10 per "zone" for a ride. That's bullshit.

2) The general premise of the strike is that the GPS technology is an invasion of their privacy and would allow the use of credit cards, which I assume means they'd have to account for tips on their taxes. First of all, if I have to pay taxes on every bit of income I make, then so do they. Please, most of these people probably are illegal immigrants and aren't paying taxes at all, so I think they can spare some cash. Secondly, the GPS system increases the safety and efficiency of the whole taxi system, and if you don't like it, then don't drive a cab -- do something else.

3) If these cabs are on strike, then why did I see so many driving around the city today. If you're going to strike, stay at home!! Don't clog up the streets with your damn cabs, and certainly don't drive around all day wasting gas an polluting the environment. I even heard one cab honking at another car. If you're on strike and not doing your job, then you've forfeit your right to honk.

My solution to the whole problem is the same solution with any strike situation: fire everyone who's striking, replace them with more competent people, and get the shit back up and running again.

I have a 9am meeting tomorrow and I'm in NO mood to walk to work or take the subway. So these damn cab drivers better get their shit together, suck it up, and realize that Big Brother is watching them whether they like it or not!


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