With sweeping immigration reforms passing the Senate this afternoon, Taxi Magic stands proudly alongside the tech community at large to support efforts that make it easier for people born in other countries to find employment and citizenship in the United States. As a startup, our success is highly dependent on recruiting skilled technical talent to help us accomplish our mission of easy and reliable taxi booking. With 1 in 5 of our current employees originating from outside the United States, it’s obvious the American Dream is still available if you are a talented, educated knowledge worker.
But peering further into our ecosystem, we see another group of immigrants who provide the life blood of the local transportation industry: your local taxi drivers. Nearly half of the total taxi workforce is comprised of immigrants. Today’s drivers follow hundreds of years of immigrant workers who used the taxi industry as a gateway to the American economy.
In our company’s existence, we have discovered a community of immigrants who comprise a very rich brocade of unique stories, goals and situations. Cab drivers are the unsung heroes of the American taxi industry. And as one of the first and last points of contact for visitors and tourists, cab drivers are the unofficial ambassadors of their cities.
Taxis have been an integral part of the urban landscape, and for more than 100 years, taxi drivers have provided a safe, reliable and convenient 24-hour service that transports passengers about their daily lives. They greet us at the airports when we return home, they take our elderly parents to medical appointments and they drive expectant parents to the hospital in the middle of the night.
Take New York City for example – the world’s most iconic taxi market. Cabs are an irreplaceable component of the New York transit system, moving more than 240 million people per year. According to the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 42,000 taxi cab drivers in New York City at this time last year. Eighty-two percent of them were born outside the United States.
We at Taxi Magic are working hard to help modernize this vital industry. We build technology to reward and ensure consistency, reliability, safety, efficiency across our driver base. And as much as we deliver a better riding experience for passengers, we also strive to deliver a better, safer and more lucrative existence for our drivers.
On the eve of our national Independence Day, as immigration reform moves to the forefront of the legislative agenda, Taxi Magic supports comprehensive immigration reform and a path to citizenship for talented and hard-working individuals across the entire economic spectrum – from the engineers who build our software to the drivers who use it to make a living.