Thursday, April 10, 2008

Oh for the love of Christ

So gas is expensive. Increased global demand, lower buying power of the dollar, all that jazz.

So the cab drivers in Chicago are mad. I feel some of their pain- they are price regulated and the city tells them what they can charge. And every time they want to make a price change, they have to put on a media blitz and get the city council to raise it. That doesn't seem like any fun.

OK, so the market isn't exactly free in that regard.

But as usual, I am offended by the rhetoric and reality of the situation.
  • Have you looked at Chicago's fleet of taxicabs lately? Beat up, ill tuned, low mileage to begin with Crown Victorias. Being driven aggressively. And when they aren't carrying passengers, they are idling at a stand or out cruising for fares. That's a LOT of fuel wasted, much of it needlessly.
  • How about buying some decent, fuel efficient cars?
  • The surcharge they passed is a convoluted mess of pie in the sky fuel prices. When gas is higher than $2.70 for a week, the first surcharge of $0.50 kicks in. When its over $3.20, the second surcharge of $1 takes effect. Gas averages $3.52 right now. So they have set up a brand new system that's at its limit of effectiveness the day it went into effect.
  • The surcharge is per ride. So the short distance rider is overcharged, and the airport rider is undercharged.
  • I'm too lazy to do the math, but it seems like they are making every single rider pay for the higher cost of an entire gallon of gas, and making the riders subsidize their inefficient fuel usage.
  • I could go on.

    And after all this, after the cab drivers get what they are asking for, one of these guys has the temerity to imply that it's still not enough and it's still going to cost them money:
    "People are going to give less tip," said Fadil Prses, waiting outside his Yellow Cab for a fare in Streeterville.

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