Screwed at Sea-Tac: Airport Drivers Say They're Not Even Making the Minimum Wage

Comments

1
Shame on you, Chris Van Dyk. I'd like to see you survive working 10+ hours a day at minimum wage or less. Judging from your offensive quotes in this article, you should be fired so as to (hopefully) learn a lesson on respect the hard way. Keep it up, drivers!
2
The Stranger, and all other news publishers, are hereby admonished from using the insulting euphamism/misnomer, "ride-share", in any context other than carpooling. If you drive a car for money – dispatched by a for-profit company, it isn't "ride-sharing", it's ride SELLING. Period. There was a time when people would exchange ("share") a few bucks with a single-occupant driver because they were going to the same place (work, Lollapalooza, QFC, The Neptune cinema, Scarecrow Video, etc.) Lyft? Uber? Not even close! They're taxis.
3
Chris Van Dyk has been a self-serving, self-promoting scumbag for many years around here. If the Teamsters were really the "thugs" he claims they are, he'd have been sleeping with the fishes a long time ago.
4
I never get a Taxi/Uber/Lyft from the airport. Did it once and was aghast at the fees and rates. It makes perfect sense that the drivers are getting screwed on the back-end as well.

Instead I walk across the street and hail a Lyft from the entry drive of the Radisson hotel.
5
No one is forcing anyone to be a cab driver? If there's an oversupply of labor in one field, unfortunately you can't demand higher wages.
6
I don't have skin in the game, so I'll keep my snide comment to myself.

Snark aside, all professional drivers need to start planning for the day when they have zero passengers. It's coming faster than you might imagine.
7
The rise of Uber and Lyft is a direct result of the lowlifes that took over the taxi business in Seattle. I used to get by fine without a car but once the drivers started talking on the phone while they drive, refusing to make eye contact and generally being incredibly rude to women, that's it, no more taxi rides for me. I hope they all go broke and move on to the next green pasture to ruin that.
8
The Port of Seattle was in the business of fucking over immigrants for cheap labor long before the start of Uber and Lyft.
9
Fellman won't be able to charge Ride-Shares like taxis. Because the law recognizes the ride-shares as just that. They aren't "Taxis". That's why they're at the port right now. The port and the taxi companies tried to stop them. But we all know how that turned out.

Taxis are a dying breed. Going extinct. Fewer people are calling Yellow, Orange, Eastside, etc for rides. As there's a 50/50 chance they'll even show up. if they do show up, it's Way later than the dispatcher said.

Also, they don't like to be told to take you home they way that you want to go. And that damn 'give me tip' thing that they do.

With a RIDE-SHARE you can see where they're at. You know approx how long to get picked up. And, I've never waited more that 5 min or so for a Ride-Share. You cant say the same thing for a taxi. That's why their ridership is decreasing year by year. It's the will of the people. The people are venting their frustration with taxi drivers at the port by not using them. They CHOOSE to not take a taxi.
10
Uber and Lyft are clobbering the traditional taxi companies for a reason. They're better. The cars are cleaner, the drivers are more professional, and they speak better English. Their apps let you know when your driver will be there and what your ride will cost. As far as I know, if you take Yellow, Orange, or Stita cabs (is Stita even around anymore?), you still don't know what your fare will be until you get to your destination.

Cab owners used to run their business like a cartel, taking advantage of the fact they had artificially controlled supply (via limited licenses). They regularly added cost without adding value. They became fat and complacent, and now their being out-hustled by the rideshares just as surely as mammals beat out the dinosaurs.

No sympathy for the cab companies; they brought this on themselves. Innovate or perish, baby.
11
@10, +1
12
Another thing that happened in 2016: Link light rail opened stations in Capitol Hill and at UW.
13
Still, you have to give Chris "That's the way things are done in Mogadishu. That's not the way it's done here, okay?" Van Dick - sorry - Van Dyk props for managing to slip in a nice racist jab at his unionized drivers. Why do I get the feeling he voted for Trump?

Anyhow, in their squabble, they're overlooking the fact that there have been tectonic shifts in the taxi industry. Outfits like Eastside for Hire are on the wrong side of history. Like it or not, they're in the fight for their (corporate) life, and if Van Dickhead and his drivers can't figure out a way to work together, they will be toast.
14
Eastside for Hire's Chris van Dyk (oh, that name) and the Port of Seattle: a match made in heaven. Port's always for the little guy...
15
My comments to the Stranger for this article were mine personally, and were not made on behalf of, or as an employee of, Eastside For Hire. I have been involved with taxicab services at Sea-Tac for some eight years, with both Yellow Cab, the previous Concession operator, and Eastside.
I was asked by the Stranger for data that would refute certain driver statements that taxicab drivers are currently earning as little as $4.00 per hour, when serving Sea-Tac. I stated that data do not exist, that can validate or refute any airport taxi driver's net income estimate, when measured on an hourly basis, over an extended time.

That is because taxicab and flat-rate for-hire drivers are independent business contractors. They are responsible for their own operating expenses, and they work hours of their own choosing. Neither income nor expenses nor hours worked are recorded by anyone other than the driver, for his or her own purposes. Some drivers will work limited, peak demand hours only at Sea-Tac, and will work elsewhere the rest of the day or night. And there is no shortage of individuals or organizations that will skew taxicab industry data, such as it does exist, in support of an agenda or a point of view.
Working at Sea-Tac as a taxicab or for-hire driver remains in ‘high demand’ despite the competition for passenger business from rideshare. This is due to the relative predictability of income, certainly compared to work elsewhere in the taxicab or rideshare industries. Some drivers lease their Sea-Tac Airport licensed/authorized taxicab vehicles to other drivers when they are not themselves driving. In fact, Mr. Mostafa Ismail, who in the article understates the restroom conditions as ‘nasty’, does not currently drive a taxicab at Sea-Tac. He leases the two airport- licensed taxicabs that he owns, to other drivers.

An "hourly" income measurement, as reflective for all taxicab drivers at Sea-Tac, is an estimate at best, and does not reflect the complexity of work relationships within the taxi and for-hire industry. During the bidding process for the Sea-Tac ground transportation contract, a year and a half ago, bidders were asked to estimate future driver income, in what was recognized as a rapidly changing business environment. There was, and is, neither a bid nor a contractual commitment to any level of independent contractor taxicab operator income.
Eighteen months ago, about 260 taxicabs served Sea-Tac 'on demand'---now there are 405, and there are an additional 10,000 Uber and Lyft vehicles that also are licensed and able to serve passengers at Sea-Tac when and as they may wish. It is a credit to Eastside For Hire, and its affiliated taxi and flat-rate for hire drivers, that taxi/for-hire passenger trips in total at Sea-Tac are off only about 12% year over year.

Commercial rideshare now carries more outbound passengers than taxi at Sea-Tac; a key reason is that taxi is not allowed to discount its regulated fares, to compete with rideshare, by the Port of Seattle. This is a regulatory problem, on which Eastside has been working, with the Port, the City of Seattle, and King County regulators. Statements about driver income at Sea-Tac notwithstanding, there is currently a waiting list of drivers and vehicles wanting access as taxi and for-hire operators, at Sea-Tac.

Eastside drivers were suspended at Sea-Tac, not for protesting work conditions. They were suspended for blocking the vehicles of other Eastside drivers who wanted to work, preventing them from working. They were suspended for illegally disrupting airport taxicab ground transportation operations. Passengers were left without service; Eastside was placed in violation of its Concession contract with the Port; Teamsters 117 orchestrated this illegal activity.

Teamsters 117 lays blame at the Port and Eastside, and myself as a well-known industry consultant and lobbyist, for a complex problem. But last February, I proposed legislation in Olympia that would have saved Sea-Tac airport taxi and for-hire operators in the aggregate, some $5 million per year by lowering the per-trip fee that each vehicle is required to pay, by the Port, from $7.00 to about $2.00. Teamsters 117 actively lobbied against and ultimately gutted that constructive legislation, HB 1917. This is respect for workers, solving problems?
The on-demand driver breakroom facilities at Sea-Tac have been a disgrace to drivers and the to the Port, and replacing them has been on and off the Port’s agenda, for years. The Capital Projects Subcommittee of the Port Commission toured the facility, and axed a rebuild some seven years ago; most recently, this multi-million-dollar project has been delayed, as the Port determines how and if the facilities should accommodate the new-to-Sea-Tac rideshare drivers. Both Yellow Cab --- the previous contractor --- and Eastside have done everything possible, to move the Port along---but the facility and the decisions regarding it, are ultimately that of the Port of Seattle.

A few years ago, when taxicab drivers affiliated with Teamsters 117 objected to the to the operation by for-hire vehicle drivers of 'flat-rate' taxis on the streets of Seattle, they said, loudly---that these flat-rate operators were ‘violating the law’ --- and they protested the for-hire drivers loudly and obnoxiously, by stating at a City of Seattle hearing, that ‘Seattle is not Mogadishu’.
When Teamsters 117 disrupted taxicab operations at Sea-Tac, stopped other taxicab drivers from working, and generally did little more than make a lot of noise, of course the thought that came to my mind was that Teamster testimony of a few years ago, at the City of Seattle. For having repeated it, to The Stranger, as regards Teamsters 117 orchestrated behavior at Sea-Tac, I apologize --- the comment is too easily mischaracterized.

Again, my comments as quoted by The Stranger, and this statement, are personal, to me.

And it remains my personal opinion that labor activists from Teamsters 117 who are active with the independent business operators in the taxicab industry, who bully their point of view in public forums, who block people who wish to work from working, who address complex issues with an ideological construct that is ultimately little more than name-calling, who rely on misinformation and innuendo to make their political case---they are doing nothing constructive to make life better for anybody.

And unfortunately, their record of actual accomplishment in the taxicab industry – getting things done for real workers, real taxicab drivers --- over the last five years, reflects exactly that…
Chris Van Dyk

Principal Owner,
Bainbridge Media Group
consultants to the transportation industries
16
Eastside for hire company forced the cab and for hire owners to pay under table cash money after they got the contract . Even Seattle Port hired external investigators to search Eastside for hire company owners crimes.
The external investigator tel number is 206 499 5493

Last year IRS raided Eastside office after they defrauded the IRS.

Home land security resided Eastside office this year.

This Eastside owners are mafia, they got the contract by hiring former staff of the port Henry Yates as a lobbyist and very sophisticated lobbyist Chris Van Dyke. Eastside disguised themselves as minority business owners or disadvantage business to take advantage of federal laws

Eastside has been scamming their own East African and Indian immigrants for long time. They have been escape goats.
17
Eastside has been scamming so many innocent people for long time

After they got the contract, they forced every taxi or for hire owner to pay under table cash otherwise those who refused would be threatened not be included in the fleet.

When Seattle Port heard that news, port hired external investigators to investigate those crimes.

Eastside defrauded IRS, IRS raided their offices last year.
Also Homeland security raided this year

Seattle Port have no clue the background of these thugs. They wanted help disadvantage business minority. But they helped wrong guys.

Eastside thugs became partner with uber
They hired former port employee Henry Yates as their consultant
They hired former lobbyist of Yellow cab Chris Van Dyke

That is how Eastside thugs got the contract.

After Eastside got the contract, they collected from the taxi and for hire owners almost 2 million and never fixed the toilets. They put all the money in their pocket. They failed to fulfill their RFP contact promises.

This is unfortunate for the drivers and port. All commissioners are upset with Eastside wrongdoing
18
I have used Eastside a half dozen times from North End to SeaTac.
The price was at or below Uber.
The drivers/cars were very clean, prompt, polite.

19
CVD is out of touch. He has physically assaulted a protester. He has been fired from almost every cab company for his reckless behavior. When he goes on a rant and says he tried to get a legislation passed to lower the cost. My question is , when he was the main architect of that RFP and made the offer the amount of $7 per pickup and it goes up after every year. I don't get it how you can go back to Olympia and say it's too high try to lower it. Your head was stuck up yours when you made that bid. He knew the numbers how many trips cabs were picking up and the impact of TNC. He's a thug. His bottom line was to make $50000 from the contract. He cares about his bottom line and no one else.