Monday, July 15, 2013

Albany, New York

The capital of New York is Albany.  The capital of Wisconsin is here, Madison.  So what?

I read some blog posts in the Albany, New York area, specifically about cab rides to and from the airport.  WOW.  New material to cover, not because it's new to me, it isn't.  It's part of the cab business, but it might be new to them.

They speak of passengers getting ripped off, and ripped off in a big way.  If we were standing around the cab stand at the air port, gossiping about it, we'd be laughing, it's that extreme.  It would seem, it's time to explain how the ride should be billed, and what to do about it if the passenger feels he's being ripped off.  It's also time to discuss what to do, if you the driver feel you're being ripped off.

If I have this correct........  In Albany, the airport contracts with a single cab company to work the cab stand.  If you take a passenger to the airport, and you're not driving one of those cabs, you leave the airport empty, even if there are people standing there begging you to take them.  The reason they do this is to prevent passengers from getting ripped off by some random driver from some random company.  Still they get complaints from passengers, some complaints about huge amounts of money.  They've even tried using investigators posing as passengers, and it hasn't gotten them results.  Let's start with what's wrong with this policy.

Why do I want to take somebody to the airport, if I'm going to drive out of the airport empty, every time?  Can I charge that passenger an extra fee?  Probably not.  The way to make money in a cab is to keep it full as much as possible, and the airport is an out of town ride.  Going there is one of the last things I want to do, all other things being equal.  Let that CHOSEN cab company provide the rides out there, and I'll stay here in town making some money.  That doesn't work, because the passenger calls on the phone, asks for service, and the guy on the radio says if somebody doesn't take the ride, he's going to stop dispatching, so somebody is going to get stuck with that ride to the airport, and let's say it's me.  What fun.  An unprofitable hour.

So, the first thing wrong with this policy, is it negatively effects service GOING TO THE AIRPORT.

There's too much to say about this in a single post, so it will be a series of posts, here ends the first of the series.

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