First I want to say how much I enjoy your paper. I wait patiently each month for my paper to come in the mail. It is the best. Then I want to tell you about myself. I am handicapped. I have Spina Bifida. As you can tell I am working up to something. I am a Hennepin County volunteer, have been for 10 years. I ride Metro Mobility Yellow Taxi. I live 17 1/2 miles from my job. I’m also on Social Security.
I ride Metro anywhere from two to four times a week. I want you and Access Press readers to know what is happening to the Yellow-Metro drivers. Nobody seems to think about them. I think I have some of the best drivers. They are called “Fives Cars” or “Bumble Bees.”
Since the fare increase in July these drivers have lost between $300 and $400 a week. That may not sound like a lot of money, but most of these drivers own their own cars. When you think of upkeep, breakdowns, and insurance, it is a lot of money. They also have to pay a fee to their company. Every time a client pays the driver with a ticket instead of cash, Metro gets 15-20% of that ticket. In other words, the driver has another loss. They have also taken a big loss on the vouchers. If you ever want to talk to some drivers, I will be glad to give you names and car numbers. Let them tell you what is going on. If there aren’t some changes made as far as the drivers go by the first of the year, there are a few drivers who are going to stop driving. And I don’t blame them.
We as riders have to stop this from happening, and do you know whose fault this is? Dear Michael Ehrlichmann. He needs to get his fat a— fired. He doesn’t give a damn about us as long as he has his nice van and his pockets are well-lined with money. Someone should boil him and Carlson in the same pot. Carlson has lied to us and Ehrlichmann just goes along with the RTB. Anything they say goes. And this fare change in November is a big laugh. Some of those people who yelled about paying $2.00 are now going to pay $2.70. Isn’t that just great? They should put a few of us Metro Riders on their boards. Maybe we could make some changes for the good.
Thanks for letting me shoot off my mouth.