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Is it too easy to hail a taxi in Colorado? Do you pay too little? Should the government stifle competition and protect big business? We don't think so either. Email us at MileHighCab@gmail.com

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Airport Hustle: It's Not a Dance

How competition could help ... 

Did you know drivers for Yellow pay Yellow Cab more than $900 a week to drive the cab. They don't make a dime until The Man at Yellow gets his $900. The only way to come up with that kind of scratch, and make a living, is to hustle those big dollar airport rides

And did you know, drivers pay Metro at least $800 a week?

You know what that means? If you aren't downtown, headed to the airport, you're going to have a heck of a time getting a cab. Drivers don't want to turn away the elderly trying to get to a doctor's appointment. Or a single mom without a car trying to get to a grocery store. But they have to. They can't afford to run neighborhood errands. They need those airport rides.

Plenty of cabs if you're in a fancy hotel waiting for a ride to the airport. But just try to get from Five Points to the Safeway to buy groceries for your family.

Mile High Cab would be different. Charging just $250 to drivers for dispatch service and support, drivers could make just the $900 a week that would go to Yellow and still live a middle class lifestyle. That means drivers can accept local fares and work close to home.

Want a Tale from the Files of the PUC? Okay ...

On March 3, 2009, A worker in Mayor John Hickenlooper's office complained to the PUC (and according to the PUC, it wasn't the first time the Mayor's Office had complained about this kind of issue). The report states the Mayor's Office employee tried to catch a cab to take him about five blocks. The cab driver (Metro) refused and told the employee to walk.

Okay, guy probably should've walked. Be good for him. Neither here nor there.

According to the report, the complaintant "says he has heard similar complaints, especially from tourists. He thinks the cab drivers are simply waiting for airport traffic." 

That's not an isolated issue. This happens more than you know.

On Nov. 9, 2009, the PUC received a complaint from a downtown hotel. The hotel said a Yellow Cab driver didn't want to take a passenger on a trip down to Greenwood Village (that's NOT a bad fare, btw). During the ride, the driver complained throughout to the passenger that he was wasting his time on anything BUT a ride to the airport.

The hotel tells the PUC that this kind of airport craving is not isolated. According to the file: "Our taxi line is not an airport only taxi line. We are constantly having issues with taxi drivers at our location that only want to go the airport and are refusing service to our guests for locations other than the airport."

Tell the PUC to let Mile High Cab compete. Give drivers a fair shake, so they can serve you better. Competition would mean Yellow and Metro couldn't push drivers around and force them to hustle for all that extra money. That means better service for you in your neighborhood. Write to PUC Director Doug Dean and tell him to let Mile High Cab into the market.

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