Letter to the editor- Cab drivers: Get over it | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Letter to the editor- Cab drivers: Get over it

To the editor:

In the Tahoe Daily Tribune’s June 6 letter to the editor, Russ Rummelt stated his (and Yellow Cab’s) objection to Stateline Taxi’s approval for a city taxi permit. He noted that one of the main problems stemmed from the misuse of scanners by cab drivers while on duty. These drivers would hear a dispatched call go out to a certain driver, and if the offending driver was closer to this call, he would “jump” the call before the right driver could get there, thereby depriving the proper driver of his/her income for that call.

Russ is certainly correct in this accusation; however, he does not state that over the past several years, every operating cab company up here, at one time or another, had drivers who used scanners, including his own company. Drivers are, for the most part, independent contractors and are basically self-employed. They lease the cars on a variety of different plans, but once in the cab, they use whatever means possible to get a fare. Sometimes these methods go against agreed regulations, but until the enforcing agency is able to enforce these regulations, the practice goes on unabated.

Due to severe budget constraints, our city has been very understaffed in this department and totally unable to enforce any rules. Stateline Taxi’s past refusal to get a city permit is not right, even with the lack of enforcement, but then again, who was there to make them conform until now? I applaud the city’s ability to recognize its shortcomings in this area and the decision to give Stateline Taxi a chance to conform.

I am not promoting the breaking of regulations, but I am, as a former cab driver, very aware of the parties involved, and am therefore qualified to give my opinion. My best suggestion for the future would involve something that heretofore has not been possible due to these existing companies being at “each other’s throats,” and the various owners’ inability to get along with each other, even at a minimal level. C’mon, guys, let’s finally put the past in the past, and work to make this valuable service even better for our community. It is high time for effort, not egos, to prevail. It’s up to you.

Jerry Oldenkamp

South Lake Tahoe

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