STITA Taxi Drivers Will Rally Against Port Of Seattle Monday

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Members of the Seattle-Tacoma International Taxi Association (STITA) will rally against the Port of Seattle Monday, Feb. 1st beginning at Noon in downtown Seattle, in an effort to heighten awareness of the Port’s decision to change cab companies at Sea-Tac Airport after 20 years.

According to a press release:

STITA has no choice but to take its case to court to prevent the Port of Seattle from signing a contract with a competitor on Tuesday.

In December, the Port of Seattle Commission awarded a new five-year contract to Yellow Cab.

Now, more than 450 families face the loss of their businesses and livelihoods (while the contract is awarded to a big business monopoly, Yellow Cab).

STITA is a non-profit co-op of 216 cabs owned by 283 people. STITA was formed 20 years ago to solve a problem – the failure of for-profit taxi companies to provide safe, reliable taxi cab service at the airport.

Here’s info on the rally:

WHAT: Members of the Seattle-Tacoma International Taxi Association (STITA) will make an important announcement and take questions from reporters.

WHEN: Noon, Monday, Feb. 1st.

WHERE: South side of the King County Courthouse in downtown Seattle, 3rd and Jefferson St. (the corner of the park)

INFO: Attorney Michael Goldfarb will discuss the legal case against the Port, and cab drivers and their families will be available to discuss the devastating impact of the Port’s flawed decision.

From STITA’s website:

STITA was formed 20 years ago by the Port of Seattle primarily to service in-bound passengers to SeaTac and residents of King County. STITA prides itself on providing excellent service. We have nearly 200 taxis in our owner-operated fleet. At STITA, diversity is embraced and our cab drivers are very proud of the fact that they work for an organization whose owners represent a broad range of cultural backgrounds including: Indian, East African, Pakistani, Somali, Filipino, Ethiopian, Iranian, and Bangladeshi. Many may not know that STITA is a not-for-profit association comprised of over 145 minority-owned businesses, meaning that STITA is governed by a Board of Directors and does not have a single owner or leasing agent. Because our cabs are owner operated, STITA takes customer service very seriously.

At the Port of Seattle’s request, several years ago STITA stopped driving traditional gasoline powered vehicles and now has one of the most environmentally friendly taxi fleets in the world. We operate both hybrids (40 vehicles) and compressed natural gasoline taxis (120 vehicles). The use of CNG has resulted in a significant reduction of air pollutants.

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2 Responses to “STITA Taxi Drivers Will Rally Against Port Of Seattle Monday”
  1. Chris Van Dyk says:

    STITA’S contract is up on August 31, 2010. Reforms at the Port, and the way it does business, mandated by the State Auditor (competitive bidding on major contracts) required that this contract be put out for competitive bid. Yellow bid about $8 million more over 5 years, for the outbound taxicab concession, than did STITA.

    Yellow is not a ‘monopoly’–the 379 Yellow cabs are owned by individuals, just like STITA—and are driven by owner/operators and lease/operators—just like STITA. Likewise, Yellow is minority owned—-as a matter of fact, Yellow Cabs are about 98% minority and 95% immigrant, owned, and Yellow dispatch services are 66% minority and immigrant owned.

    Also, the business is not going away—-Yellow will be expanding its fleet to service the airport, and is encouraging STITA owner/operators to talk with it, about maximizing their continuing opportunity in the taxicab industry, at the airport and elsewhere.

    Yellow has simply figured out a more efficient way to service SeaTac, that will benefit taxicab owner/operators and the Airport. Please feel free to call Yellow or myself at 206-854-6127 with questions.

  2. Sukhi Aulakh says:

    I am a founding member of STITA and was on Board of Directors when STITA was formed. POS was desperately looking for a face lift and show case for Good Will Games in 1990. Against all odds and hurdles WE stood by the POS. We dedicated our services and devoted our efforts to the needs of the Port.

    Superior customer service, uniformed and trained drivers, strict discipline for any violation and the finest cabs has been our hallmark. For the past 20 years STITA has met each and every POS request and demand. Our green cabs are all less than 5 years old and extremely well maintained.
    STI TA drivers lost the ability to service customers living in the Seattle city limits several years ago when the city stickers were taken away. This practice drastically reduced the income of our independent drivers. As it stands now, City cabs cannot pick up fares at the airport and those cabs at the airport cannot pick up city fares. It is a one-way trip for the cab. This practice is called deadheading.
    If the proposed Port contract is approved, STITA drivers will no longer be able to pick up fares at the airport. Business will be restricted to the less populated areas of King County where cabs are used infrequently. The POS has caused a bidding war to erupt over control of the fares at the airport. The Independent cab driver is being forced out of business.
    STITA members are proud of the service that they have provided to the many residents and visitors utilizing SeaTac airport. We wish to continue to provide safe and courteous service to our customers.
    POS, PSD and a few multiple cab owners are the winners with POS’s bidding war and un fair policy. We the STITA drivers stand for fair play, fair game and dedicated service of our customers. Truth will prevail and we stand as winners.

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