This is to the lady who wrote to TGI who felt cheated by not being able to hire a cab to take her home from the airport to Lihue, because she felt that the airport taxi drivers would instead want a longer run. I couldn’t quite remember what she really said, but I know it had something to do with taxi drivers only wanting longer and not shorter runs.
If I were a taxi driver, which I am not, I could see why I would want a longer taxi run than a short run to Lihue. There are a lot of taxi drivers at the airport, and everyone and everything is based on a rotations. Imagine this. As a taxi driver, I have waited a while for a call at the taxi shack, and hoping for a long run, I get a call to go to Umi Street or somewhere in Lihue, which would be about a $10 run plus a small tip of probably $2.
The wait, the gas and the time waiting, and the fabulous tip you’d be willing to give, wouldn’t have justified the profit I have just made, nor would it have been worthwhile for me to have taken that run. True, it could be that little money I just made would be something I didn’t have earlier, and I did make $12 on that run.
But wait. I just lost my place in line for that short run, now I must get back in line hoping for a longer run the next time, if the line isn’t too long then. I should have denied the run, but by refusing to take that run, I’d just lost my place in line. Really, a Catch-22. Yes, it is my job to run a taxi, and it is true that I shouldn’t be refusing to take that short run. I work to make money, and short runs may not be profitable, unless I have many short runs, and I am the only one there to make those many short runs.
Many people would like the Uber and the Lyft companies to come in, but because they don’t and won’t pay all those fees the airport taxis pay, although they sneakily come into the airport area, they are not allowed to pick up passengers.
Well then, what would be a good solution? Would a standard flat rate of $20 to Lihue be imposed to the people who’d need a ride be OK?
What do you think, and how do you feel about those taxi drivers not wanting to take those short runs? Aah, that’s their jobs, you’d say. What would your best solution or remedy be? Crazy for me to think this way? No. Just trying to think and express myself as a taxi driver. I hope I am wrong to think this way, but I could also be right.
Ray Domingo is a resident of Hanamaulu.