For some reason (I still can’t fathom why) the Metro closed at midnight on Friday and Saturday. This meant that for the average person out on the town, taxis were the only option for getting home, and apparently cabbies got wind of this. Instead of turning on their meters and offering their fares the normal rate, drivers would jack prices up two and three times the normal, knowing that cab scarcity and the freezing cold would leave their patrons with little recourse but to accept the gouged prices. This is illegal. But, when the driver says “30 dollars to take you there” and pulls away when you inform him of the law, what can you do? So, as one of those screwed-over patrons from last night, I offer a hearty “burn in hell” to the cabbies of DC. Seriously, die in fire.
As of yesterday, 1000 DC cabbies, about 1/8th of the city’s drivers, are on strike. They are protesting the Council’s proposal to instate a medallion system, similar to that of New York City, on taxi drivers in the district. Medallions are essentially a system of licensing for cab drivers. The city will offer a set number of medallions that drivers will have to pay for on a monthly basis. The Council asserts that this will limit the number of taxis in the DC and is important to protecting the transport industry in the city (or maybe its just a simple revenue generator for the city?). The striking cabbies fear that medallions will cut their profits and make it impossible for individuals and small businesses to operate. Public hearings on the proposal are scheduled for October 1.
Apparently, getting a cab in DC is as easy as Twittering to @taxinow (aka EnviroRide.net taxis) your start and finish destinations, and they’ll route you a cab. For those of us who absolutely hate using the phone to talk to cab companies, this seems like a really straightforward way to get from point A to point B without having to call ahead.
Sure you might want to give it a little bit of time to get there, but this sounds vastly preferable to calling the call center, to me.