Archive for taxi authority

Hit and Run Or Assault

Posted in Close Calls, Law Enforcement, Road Rage with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 29, 2011 by HackingVegas

As my twitter followers know, I had another incident at work last week. This one pushed me over the edge and got me to try to get local media involved in order to better protect myself and fellow hacks in Las Vegas. It started with a typical fare pick up at a resort where I was taking the second half of a large group to the outlets.  As I was pulling down the driveway I had a van next to me. For no apparent reason he started to come into my lane. This is common so I tapped my horn a few times hoping he would correct himself. Instead he continued to try to run me up the curb into the planter. I laid on my horn as I pulled up to the stop light.

The driver of the van opened his door, jumped out and started to run to my driver’s door. I thought I was ok because our cabs have auto lock doors when you put them in gear. Little did I know mine were not working that day.  He grabbed my door handle and flung it open.  He was yelling at me asking why I didn’t stop at the stop sign behind us. I couldn’t help but laugh and said,

“I’m sorry my stop wasn’t good enough for you but what gives you the right to come at me the way you did?”

Well, I guess that wasn’t the best way to handle it because he responded by saying, “Fine! I’ll come at you like this”, as he took a swing at me. I leaned away from it and he missed. I was able to grab my door and slam it shut before he had time for another swing. I locked the door, hit the panic button on my camera and radioed into dispatch what was happening.

By now my fare is freaking out and screaming bloody murder. My dispatcher didn’t make things any better. When I called in, the dispatcher couldn’t get my cab number right if her life depended on it.  It took 5 times for her to finally repeat the proper number. I chalked it up to the crappy radios the company put in not too long ago. Then I told her what just happened and gave her a description of  the man, his van & his license plate number. Once again I repeated myself 5 times before she repeated the proper plate number.  At this point I’m getting pissed. I’ve given this person who is supposed to be there to take information from me a lot of things I couldn’t write and I was sure that none of it was taken properly.

After he drives off I pulled my cab to a side road and parked.  My Fare was scared but I was trying to explain that I needed a statement from them.  But just as one of them was willing to do it my dispatcher said that the police ran the plate and it came back as invalid. She repeated the number back to me and to no surprise  she had written it down wrong. I remembered all but one letter and knew it was one of 2 options. I gave her the right plate number with both possibilities and waited to hear back. She then came back and said that both Metro and the Taxi Authority (TA) were not going to respond but that the TA wanted me to go to their office when I was done so they can do the paperwork needed. My fare had enough and hailed a cab out of there.

I couldn’t believe that this lady caused two different police agencies to not respond. Twenty minutes later, a Metro Traffic Officer pulled up and I found out why they didn’t come. He was sent for a Hit and Run car vs car crash. Nothing in the call said there was an assault. He asked if TA was going to handle it and after hearing they were, he pulled off. When my Supervisor found out that the call said nothing about the assault he called the TA and filled them in on what was really happening. They still didn’t want to send anyone out and wanted me to just come to the office still.

So off I went…

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Just Tell Me The Truth (WTF 3)

Posted in Driving Basics, Law Enforcement, Random Info with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 17, 2011 by HackingVegas

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After being left to wait in (WTF 2) without anyone from my work backing me up I decide to start putting my information together before the cops show up. So I grad my statement that I wrote out and write down the description of the two guys. I them call upstairs to the dispatch office and ask for the plate number I gave and any other information they took down. That didn’t go so well.

I call up, which is now after their shift change and get the swing dispatcher. I ask for the information and he has a hard time reading the notes. He rambles on a license plate number that was too long. He gave me 11 characters. 7 is the max I’ve seen on a plate and in California I know that’s the case. So I ask if he’s reading the right note. He says yes that’s the plate number you gave.

At this point I’m already upset and I’m not in the mood for this stupidity. I inform him that he wasn’t there when I gave the plate and pointed out that plates only have a max of 7 characters and he just gave me 11. I then noticed that 2 of them were “CA”. Ok that’s the stare of the plate but there are still 2 extra characters in there. I decide that yelling at this guy is going to get me no where because he wasn’t the one the wrote it therefor he couldn’t give a damn so I thank him, hang up and go back to waiting.

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I look at the time and notice that it’s about 45 minutes from the time I called the cops. I know I’m not s priority but she did say someone was on the way and that I should stay where I was. So I call back to get an update. After confirming the information on the call she asks;

Metro Dispatch: did you leave? They coul….. What address are you at?

I gave her the address and she says;

Metro Dispatcher: Oh well they are on their way. You gave us 4710 not 5710 but now that you gave us the right address we’re on the way

Me: sorry miss but I read the address right off our sign. But ok as long as someone is on the way.

I go back to waiting. Another 30 minutes go by and still no TA or Metro. This is standard for the TA but metro is normally there in a reasonable amount of time. I give it another 15 minutes and call metro back. I’m now told they just gave the call to an officer and he should be there in 20 minutes. So back I go to waiting. After 30 minutes I call back for the last time and I’m told they are busy and that the call is still there. This lady tells me they haven’t been able to give it to anyone but when things slow she send someone.

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Once again I’m pissed. Three calls made and three different answers given. I then ask of I can just come down to file a report. She says yes and if I have a video or anything that will help I should bring it with me. I tell her to cancel the call and I’ll get the info and head down there later.

Trying to be nice I call the TA and let them know I’m leaving so they don’t need to worry about meeting me. They inform me that they were never on the way and that the cab was going to be inspected over night when they got around to it. If I need to file a report of an assault I need to call metro and deal with them.

I hang up on hem and start to try and gather the information I need from the company…..

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Is That All You Care About (WTF 2)

Posted in Driving Basics, Law Enforcement, Road Rage with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 13, 2011 by HackingVegas

After being told to go back to the yard in “Who Needs a Door Handle” I did just that. I was only about 2 miles away so I was there In just a few moments. When I got there I didn’t see the road supervisor I was told to meet so I went into the shift coordinators office to ask what I needed to do. Per usual they didn’t know a damn thing about what was going on. So after I filled them in on what happened they asked why I was there. I told them I was told to come here and deal with it here. I asked if I need to feel out any paperwork and once again I got the response of, “I don’t know”. I found an incident report on the wall of information racks and took things into my own hands and filled it out.

After I was done the road supervisor finally showed. He asked for my license and the registration for the car. I gave him he stuff and waited while he filled out paperwork. I got a shift coordinator to download the camera while he finished. When the road supervisor was done he asked if I had any questions and was trying to wrap it up. I asked when the cops were coming and if he wanted my report of what happened. He really wasn’t interested in what happened. He said, “well I have what I need and the video will help us get them to pay for it.”. I asked about when the Taxi Authority is coming and if Metro was on the way. He said that the Taxi Authority should be on the way and if I want to file a report with Metro I need to call them. He said they were called and told about the car so they can use that in the clam for repairs.

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At this point I’m getting mad. I asked dispatch to call for metro and the Taxi Authority so I can file a report about the assault and it seems the only thing they care about is the car. This was made clear when I called Metro and asked if they could come take a report on the assault part of this. The dispatcher asked if this was part of the vandalism call at the hotel. I said yes and asked what was reported. She said they only gave them the make and model of the SUV and was reporting a vandalism. I asked if they knew about the assault and she said no. I then told her what happened and asked if they could come make a report. She said to stay at the yard and got the address. She informed me that someone is on the way. So I hung up, text the wife to let her know what’s going on and waited.

I’m a bit upset at this point and can’t believe the company could really careless about what happened to me and only was worried about the car. Maybe it’s just me but when I was in charge of field employees I made sure if something happened to them at work we did everything we could to help them. I mean they were my employees and were doing their job that made the company money. Yet I’m now all alone waiting with no support and no one to ask for help. So there I sit waiting…..

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Who Needs a Door Handle (WTF 1)

Posted in Close Calls, Driving Basics, Road Rage with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 11, 2011 by HackingVegas

Yesterday was a bad day all around. But no bad day is complete without a cherry to top it off. This is going to be part one of a look inside the inner workings of the taxi industry during an “emergency”.

I pull up to the hotel to let my fare out and when I get back in the car to leave a black SUV pulls around me and stops. I give him a minute to figure out what he’s doing (car had out if state plates). The driver gets out and started to unload a ton of bags. I tap my horn to get his attention and point to the sign saying it’s a “thru lane”. He just kept unloading. I then lean out the window and tell him, “hey, this is a thru lane you need to pull forward to the side to unload your car so everyone can get thru”. Well that didn’t go over well. He grabbed the next bag and slammed it against my cab. Thankfully staff at the hotel saw what was happening and went up to the guy and asked him to not unload there and told him he can pull up to the side to unload.

He got back into his SUV and pulled down the driveway. I put my car in drive and off I went. As we get to the edge of the property he stops and puts his SUV in park. Next thing I know his two doors fly open and two guys jump out and run at me. I’ve seen this before so I know what’s coming. I hit the panic button on my camera and I start to roll my window up as the driver reaches my door. Before I can get the window all the way up he takes a swing at me. Thank god he missed and my window is now up. They start yelling and I yell back, “WHAT THE FUCK IS YOUR DEAL? why don’t you get back in your car and get the fuck out of here”.

Well as I’m sure you’ve guessed, leaving was not what was on his mind. He wanted blood and wasn’t going to leave till he got it. He grabbed my door handle and in one swift tug ripped it right off the door. His buddy then got a freaked out look on his face and pulled the driver back to the SUV. They sped off and I switched my radio to “emergency” (as per company policy) and called it in. I started to follow him to get the plate number and make and model of the SUV.

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Once I got that he noticed I was behind him and started to run every red light for as far as I could see. I turned back around and started back to the hotel to wait for the Taxi Authority. Before I could get there my dispatch came back on the radio and said I needed to go back to the cab yard. I asked about the Taxi Authority and was told that per the road supervisor I needed to go back to the yard and everything would be handled there.

This isn’t out of the ordinary. The Taxi Authority does this a lot. I have yet to find out why but it happens so I started back like I was told.
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This mini-drama will continue for the next few posts. You can track them in order by the (WTF) plus a number at the end of each tittle.

Rub and Tug

Posted in Driving Basics, Drunks, Hookers, Random Info with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 6, 2011 by HackingVegas

Las Vegas is known for a lot of things but most of all it’s known as “SIN CITY”. This is a very fitting name considering that you can do nearly anything you can dream of and then some.  As a driver in Vegas we are involved in the transportation of the visitors looking for the Sin part of our city and therefore we are also used for information gathering.  It’s common to get a fare who doesn’t know where they are going until they give you the third degree.  This was the case the other day.

It was just after sunrise and I was sitting at one of my favorite morning hotels hoping for a fare to the Airport.  Out of no where I have a man knocking on my window asking to get in. I notice he doesn’t have the luggage I was hoping for but such is luck. I unlock the doors and off we go. As I pull off I ask where he’s going and that’s where it all starts.

Him: I need a rub down. Where is the best place?

Me: Well are you looking for a good rub down or a GOOD RUB DOWN (Hinting about a parlor)

He then starts in with this long-winded story about how he has been up for about 24 hours and playing cards and just needs to relax. That he has an extra $500 and he’s just trusting me to take him somewhere that will help.

Here’s the problem with that, I’m not the type of driver who will just drive you somewhere if I’m not sure that’s where you want to go. Between the complaints I’ve got from other fares about other drivers doing that and the fact if the guy gets pissed I can get in trouble from the T.A. for not getting a proper destination.

So I pull to the side and start playing 20 questions.  I start with,

This is what a "Real Spa" for massages looks like

Me: are you wanting a true Spa where they are legit and give really good message’s or are you looking for a rub and tug?

Him: Well I’m sore and need relief

Me: Ok well then I would wait for the spa to open at your hotel and go there. With the money you have they will take care of you.

Him: But I need it now. I don’t want to wait. Don’t they have those Asian places you can take me?

This is what a "Rub&Tug" place looks like

I go on to explain that those are really just there for the rub and tug. If he’s really sore they wont be able to help him. Most guys I pick up from those places say the girls hurt them and most say they stop the girl and get to the point.

By now I know that all he really wants it a rub and tug and I’m done playing games.  I turn in my seat and say,

Me: OK let’s stop the shit. You are looking for a hooker and didn’t find one at the hotel you were at. So you jump in my cab and don’t have the balls to say so and spend ten minutes beating around the bush. Now it’s coming up to the time I have to go pick up a personal fare and I need you to figure out what you want or get out. If you want a true message get out and make an appointment at the hotel. If you are looking for a hooker I’ll take you to one of the brothels and you can have at. If you are just looking for someone to pay attention to you and have her tug on you then say so. I don’t have this kind of time. We are in Vegas and I’m a Cabbie. You’re a grown man and I’ve heard it all before so be a man and stop wasting my time.

Him: (in a beaten voice) well, um, just….. (I’m about to kick him out) aaahhhh take me to one of those asian places. Just go to the best one.

I tell him they are all the same but I’m taking him to the one on the way to where my next pick up is. If he needed a ride back he could call me when he’s done and I could pick him back up in about 45 mins. My phone never rang and my day went on.

So for any readers that are coming to Vegas and feel embarrassed about wanting to do something, I have this to say.

If you are afraid to ask for it than maybe you shouldn’t be doing it.  If you want something ask for it and don’t waste everyone’s time. This is Vegas and you know… What Happens in Vegas Stays Dorment Until You Get Home And Need “That Cream”.

Permit Renewal (part 1)

Posted in Driving Basics, Law Enforcement with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2011 by HackingVegas


It’s that time again, yes its permit renewal time. As a cab driver we have to have a permit to work for a cab company. For the most part this is a bullshit way for, once again, the Taxi Authority to get money out of us. Like I’ve said before, the process of getting a permit is a joke and really needs improvement. But this isn’t about getting the permit, this is about renewing the damn thing.

In order to drive you need a physical that they call a D.O.T. (department of transportation) exam. This consists of a hearing and an eye test, a vital sign check, and all the normal bending, poking, and peeing that most physicals require. The biggest problem is that the three or four I’ve had were never even close to being the same.

The normal place I go to for this physical (a few clinics in town offer cheep DOT’s for Cabbies) was no longer open. So I found another one across town that my company recommended. I made my appointment and headed that way. I had a hard time finding it at first. It was way off the street and didn’t have a sign anywhere. I finally found the numbers on the building that I was looking for and went in.

After signing in and waiting for two other ladies to be seen, the doctor calls me in. There weren’t any nurses working so I had the doctor from start to finish. He starts the exam like any other. It wasn’t until we got to the eye exam part of it all that I started wondering if this guy was for real.

Normally you have an eye chart on a wall and you’re asked to stand at a certain spot and read it. First covering one eye then the other and then with both. Well it was nothing like this. I was asked to read a line off a chart that looks like he made it off of Microsoft Word. The letters were the largest I’ve ever been asked to read and as far as covering your eye, well that must take too long. After reading what seemed like a large print book for my grandma he asked me to sit and hold my arms out. This was followed up by, “no more shaking than the normal person. You’re good to go.”

He then filled out the paperwork, that includes the hearing test section even though he didn’t even have the equipment to test me with. I guess the fact that I was able to hear him was good enough. The last thing he told me was not to take over the counter meds that make me drowsy.

This was the quickest exam I’ve ever had. I think I was in the exam room for no more than 3 minutes. The exam consisted of:

  • Blood pressure check (which I don’t think he really did. My blood pressure hasn’t been that low in years)
  • Listening to lung sounds (I’m pretty sure of the fact that it was his fingers touching me. I don’t remember his stethoscope leaving his neck)
  • Weight (well at least I know I haven’t gained as much weight as I thought. Only 5 pounds in two years.)
  • Hernia check (well if you call having me lay back as he touches my stomach and says, “no hernia and the stomach is good”.)
  • Eye test (well you know how that went)

This was the dumbest biggest waste of time and money ever. I think out of all the crap we have to do that’s just a money-making scam, this has to be the biggest waste. But the good news is even though I know I need glasses and my blood pressure is actually high, I’ve been given a clean bill of health. Next step is permit renewal and “safety class”. Stay tuned for the next episode of, “Let’s See How Much Money We Can Make From Our Hacks”.

Why Do We Call Cops Pigs

Posted in Driving Basics, Law Enforcement, Random Info with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 13, 2011 by HackingVegas

I drive all over the Las Vegas Valley and see all kinds of things. Over the last few weeks I’ve noticed that this one Highway Patrol Officer is helping stranded motorist. At first I thought that it was cool that our officers are stepping up and working on some good PR.  Our state already offers a “Freeway Service Patrol” (FSP) that roams the main highways during the day and helps people get their cars working or off the freeway safely.

These guys are busy all day and could use the help of  others. If you are a guy on the side of the road, I hope you know what to do.

Ok not really, the FSP will get to you as they make their rounds. But I did notice that the Officer that has been helping is picking and choosing who he helps.  I noticed that every car he has stopped for has been a young woman who is standing right over him.

But the other day I saw something that really stood out to how he is picking and choosing. About 200 feet apart were two cars with flat tires. The first car had two older ladies standing there and I can assume waiting for FSP.

The second one had a young woman standing there as the officer who had to pass the other car to get to this one was changing her tire.

I know men are known as pigs in many women’s eyes and lets not forget what cops are known as. The last thing we need is this guy showing the women in our life that this is true. Come on now, think before you act guys. You’re really not helping our case.

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