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The Seattle Yellow Cab on the trail of return
Adverse messages that rain down on the dispatcher while Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles County are suing the firm put a smirk on the face of Yellow Cab General Manager Amin Shifow. Revenues from the cab business in seattle declined 40 per cent in the first year, when the San Francisco-based firm, along with its rivals lyft and sidecar, immediately deployed beloved telephone applications to ship hundred of unrestricted and non-regulated chauffeur rides.
Shifow also smiles because he thinks that the counter-reaction against Uber is taking place at exactly the right moment. Shifow said that Yellow Cab's 2-month-old ticket inquiry application - a leaner update of the apple, which was released about a year ago - buzzes without interruption. This free iPhone and Android iPhone and Android application includes long available functionality in Uber, Lyft and Sidecar apps: it detects exactly where a traveler wants a trip from, allows travelers to see on a card how near their rider is to their arrival, and - in about a months timeframe, Shifow said - will allow travelers to make payments through the iPhone, too.
Said that San Francisco taxidrivers are about to get the same fare payment as San Francisco. Others driving utilities like Eastside for Hire have been using telephone scheduling applications like Curb for more than a year, which offers all these functions. With other words, the difference between cabs and utilities such as overX - over non luxurious passengers - is decreasing, and Shifow wants some of the regulation differentials between them to become narrower.
Denise Movius, assistant manager of the Ministry of Finance and Administrative Services, said that the town will issue its first series of new licences in about 25 years early next year if it spends 35 by way of a raffle. However, even if last year's regulatory talks have left members of the Seattle Council too tired to resume the issue any time soon, Shifow says, he is optimistic that Seattle's cab business is already prepared for a return next year.
Shifow acknowledges that even if he were to call his rivals "tyrants", Seattle Yellow Cab would not recover with much-needed upgrade if such app-based driving companies as Uber and Lyft had not come to the city in early 2013. Says Yellow Cab's poor incentive to modernise was not a financial issue - it was a competitive issue.
But Shifow knows, because at the end of last year he was not General Director of Yellow Cab, still the biggest cab operator in Seattle and King County. Driving and owning an inexpensive, wheelchair-accessible cab that was even harder to use when X and Lyft came to Seattle with easy-to-use applications that enabled users to monitor, evaluate and charge their users via their cellphone.
One of the things none of them did, as the cab fueled industries, was the servicing of those who needed wheels. Shifow threw himself into the gruelling negotiation of a lease agreement that Seattle Mayor Ed Murray had entered into last year. When new rules came into force for all driving in July, Shifow had not only resulted from the 10-cent supplement negotiated on all attractions to finance the wheelchair-accessible cabs - it was later heralded that he would lead Seattle Yellow Cab and his Dispositionsarm Puget Soundispatch.
Soon, new desktops were arriving at Yellow Cab South Seattle head office, a place where two of the pale numbers on the doors are marked with a dark color. The dilapidated computer systems that Seattle Yellow Cab had been relying on for centuries were accumulated in the corners of his old disposition room three month ago.
As Seattle Yellow Cab went through its most dramatic transition in years, Uber was destroyed in domestic news and bubble-forming articles about the company's strategy and price increases. Portland forbade Uber from operating there this past month, and San Francisco and Los Angeles prosecutors have brought legal actions against Uber alleging that the firm disregards the standard of its drivers' backgrounds and is charging foreign dues to reimburse travellers.
Lyft maliciously compensable 500,000 bill to citizen social control to satisfy assertion in California playing period its operator inheritance attempt. It is Shifow's hope that the new application and the growing pressures on the company to alter its price and driving controls will make cabs a dignified rival again.