I had a brush with death in August, as my blood pressure was 88 over 36. On the bright side, I crossed off one thing from my bucket list: riding in an ambulance. But I am still here and looking at things a bit closer for what they really are.
For example, I received a text that I could watch the latest TLC meeting online. So, I opened the “Livestream” and found six commissioners in a zoom-type page, listening to testimony of registered speakers.
The first speaker I heard asked what happened to his application for financial assistance regarding the TLC’s much publicized $65 million dollars for medallion owners, whereby lenders would reduce loan debt to $200,000 and maximum payments would be $1,500 monthly… or something close to that.
The TLC said they would “look into his application.”
The second and third speakers were totally disappointed that the TLC Plan had major obstacles to overcome. One obstacle an owner-driver testified to, was that his lender refused to reduce his loan debt at all. The third also had no response from the TLC on his application. One thing was evident: The TLC commissioners had no answers because the Chairwoman had no answers. I turned the so-called meeting off because it was a WASTE of my time.
After listening to drivers and medallion owners’ justified complaints for years, this meeting was just lip service and an attempt for the TLC to go through the motions of a functional city agency. Now the TLC can say: We met with drivers, we had a meeting about this, anybody could have participated… and as a good friend once told me, “Blah Blah Blah.”
What this meeting showed the world was how to expertly let people vent without solving a damn thing… also known as a WASTE of time. Had I died, I would not have missed anything because the truth is, the current TLC’s actions are solely for the infusion of money into the General Fund.
Nationally, last year, marijuana arrests dropped and murders increased. As I received my third vaccination, COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths have increased in certain states that have continued to be against vaccines.
As I no longer have to commute over two bridges, the MTA is predicting a minimum of one $1 billion in income from congestion pricing fees, ranging from $9 to $35 per passenger car – including yellow cabs.
The MTA should first fix their in-house problem that could yield them $100 million or maybe a billion dollars. They must collect the $1 billion first from a thousand MTA employees who owe for tolls and fines avoided by removing a front license plate and covering the rear license plate with smoked plastic.
To add insult to injury, employees have been educating other MTA employees on this practice, along with changing license plates every six months or so. This practice then is shared with family members, friends, etc.
If the MTA stopped this fraudulent practice entirely, there would be no need to charge yellow taxis any form of congestion pricing since yellow cabs are the only licensed vehicle to have paid the city billions in medallion prices and fees. In fact, in the first version of congestion pricing about 15 years ago, yellow cabs were given an exemption. Now that the yellow industry has been somewhat decimated the last few years, the MTA and the Albany MTA Political Caucus decided that now is the best time to add yet another fee on yellow cab meters.
What a WASTE of misappropriated legislation and unnecessary tolls. If only the MTA could clean up their employee rip-offs and insist the stoppage of “How to Beat Every Toll In New York City” instructions by employees to all New Yorkers. Come on, tell me you never saw tinted plastic on a rear license plate. Talk about a WASTE.
BTW, yellow cabs and black cars pay tolls no matter who is driving.
We now have nine grandchildren and engaging each one is uniquely special as we watch them grow. I love being a grandpa and papa.
The following lyric is from my favorite band: “If all you got to live for is what you left behind, get yourself a powder charge and seal that silver mine.”
If the worst were to happen, I can only hope YOU realize I left behind a life of integrity, a life of advocating for justice at many levels and a life of true love for family and for the New York City taxi industry. Waste not my friends… and Fare Thee Well.