What is the Pink?
Imagine you’re playing cards at a poker table. There are three other boys sitting with you. Their names are Flash Cab, King Drive, and Globe Taxi. Your name is Yellow Cab, so you fit right in. The dealer is tossing out the cards. Everyone is thinking about their hand and throwing in their blue-chip medallions to bed or fold. The crew is about to show ‘em high when a pink moustached gentleman frantically pulls up a stool. “The name’s Rideshare” he smirks. “I’m all in.” He decks out the cards he clearly drew from his own pocket. He wins the round. He takes all the chips without having to pay any. The boys look at each other like he’s joking. He walks away soberly. The players shoot the dealer a look for some authority. He shrugs, “sorry, new market, new rules.”
My name is Mr. Bohemian. I will help you recognize what pretentiousness looks like.
This is the typical response from customers who utilize rideshare on a routine basis. Many think the taximan is cranky, corrupt, and not able to lose to a fair competition. It is ironic, because the substantiation of rideshare begins on a biased scale. See our shopping list.
Taxi Shopping List
- Ground Tax $900 per year
- Medallion Renewal $500 per year
- Affiliation fee $100-$348 per month
- Insurance $250 per month
- Worker’s Comp approx. $150 per month
- TX plates, city stickers, live camera, passenger safety partition, electronics installation, meter equipment, city inspections, the king's decree, chauffeur classes per driver, and much more!
Rideshare Shopping List
- One pink moustache
- A sexy personality
- Your mom’s van
- A phone
- 98.6 degree F body temp
One taxi medallion = $300,000 pre-Emanuel Administration
One pink moustache = $0.00 + tax
The metal disk you see on the hood of every taxi vehicle is called a medallion. It permits the taxi to chauffeur citizens in Chicago. It is the industry’s stock and trade. It costs money. The value of the object comes from the city’s appropriate manipulation. In the past, the city has put a cap on the number of medallions released to the public, thereby creating a limit on vehicles in service. This tactic was used to dampen and direct a wild west taxi industry during and after the Great Depression. This cap also generated a supply and demand value for the medallion.
Now that you understand our blue chip, what’s up with the pink one? Simply put, rideshare is not a taxi service by legislative endorsement. It’s sharing the ride, baby. Transactions be damned. By escaping the definition of taxi service, they escape its regulations as well. Through this sexy loophole may rideshare excuse itself as a new market, only to participate in the same one. This circumvention allows them to draw from the taxi's customer demographic without being burdened equally.
Customers have a fair request. They prefer a faster service. Uber and Lyft may have popularized the smartphone dispatch, but does smartphone technology inherit vehicle technology? This is where common customers get bamboozled in the debate. If I have a convenient way to deliver alcohol to customers via flying drone, does that mean I do not need a liquor license? If I have a pink moustache on my vehicle, does that mean I do not need a $300,000 medallion?
Moustache! = Medallion?
The Joyless Drivers
As an artist with a day job, I work every day with the wheels that keep the Chicago commute moving. What is the major attribute of rideshare’s sweeping domination? Taxi drivers are simple people. Where in the world is that not true? These drivers are so joe, their names might as well be Joe. Muslims, Christians, Somalians, Italians, old, young, handicapped, West Side, South Side, the pro-rideshare lobbyists can only pretend that they are distributing diversity through rideshare. Every day I print these drivers their leases, and occasionally they small talk behind me. They discuss how their treasure maps have been outdated. City hotspots have granted coexistent rights to rideshare at pick-up lanes at hotels and O’Hare airport. They’ll say, “Remember when we used to have treasure chests? Today, I barely grabbed a fistful of doubloons.”
How can we shrink the Pink?
- Uninstall your rideshare apps. The apps Curb and Arro are taxi alternatives. Did you know that the rideshare dispatch is not exclusive to rideshare?
- Warn the others about the Pink.
- Sign the online petition.
- Vote, blog, share, and care.
Rideshare’s strut through the streets in its burlesque glory is a new low standard in citizen apathy. By letting the Pink drive freely, we all commit to a city-wide bystander effect. Think, speak, and act. My personal formula for free thinking is this: if you think about things, rather than what you’re told, you’ll know about things, rather than what you’re told. What is rideshare? Is it new? What would be left if I shaved that pink moustache off?