Hacking back

Hacking back

Councilor Donoghue’s op-ed was a fine piece of work, and I agree with most of it. You are right about nighttime driving in Portland and other large and small cities. You know, the first time I had a runner was in Portland, Maine. But even during the day there are risks. Wasn’t that driver robbed in the middle of Woodfords Corner, at gun point, in the middle of the day several months ago?

But we all knew the job was dangerous when we took it.

You should have driven during the day, Councilor. Nights are fun, but days are, well … fun as well. People depend on us for their ride to work, doctors appointments, getting to the airport on time at all hours of the day, day care — well, you get the gist. Yes, nights are fun and I sometimes get the lost night worker in the mornings.

But I take issue with your mentioning any taxi company five times. Kind of makes me think of a conflict of interest, what with you on the Transportation Committee and all — or voting on taxi issues at all.

I’m also confused. At one point you say “the city has the authority  to set rates and issue licenses.” Then you say you don’t “suggest we limit the number” of taxi cabs. Can’t have it both ways, you know. Regardless, Maine is a “right to work” state, so it’s a moot point. And I agree, the condition of cabs in this town is horrible. Something must be done for not only the customers’ safety, but the drivers’, as well.

Then you talk about a “discount for disabled passengers.” I agree. I just wish that these taxi-company owners would share the financial pain of offering these discounts. Probably won’t happen, even with your idea. Now, I don’t disagree with giving a regular customer a discount. I do it all the time. And my customers are my bread and butter. That person in the back seat pays my mortgage, my oil bill, and my lease. Yet I must still pay “the Company” their full lease, not a payment minus the discounts. We are all in this together, as a boss recently said to me. But he still wants me to eat this discount, even though it is illegal under Maine law.

I look forward to being involved with any changes you might propose. Though I am not a voter in Portland, I sure do take a lot of them where they’re going.


Mike Bailey


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