Saturday, September 08, 2007

D.C. Taxicabs 

Washington D.C. has the worst taxicabs. I know it is dangerous to generalize but most cabdrivers do not speak English, do not know their way around the city, and talk on the cell phones so loud that you cannot carry on a conversation with the person you are with.

Add to all of this the current system of charging passengers by the number of zones they cross and the whole thing is a total disaster. No one really understands the zone system and it appears to my wife and I that cab drivers often modify their travel to cross as many zones as possible. We have lived in town for the last year and a half and we are almost never quoted a consistent price for the same exact trip.

Now, finally, Mayor Fenty is considering changing the way taxis charge customers. His involvement in this matter is driven by a Congressional legislative mandate, engineered by Senator Carl Levin, that meters be installed by October. The Mayor, however, can override the act by executive order.

The D.C. Taxicab Commission is set to vote on Tuesday on what the new system should be. One idea that is apparently gathering steam, as reported today in the Washington Post by Sue Anne Pressley Montes, is a hybrid system which would use meters to provide riders with a detailed explanation of their zone charge.

This is a terrible idea. D.C. needs to install meters just like every other jurisdiction and then we need to implement a training course to teach drivers how to be professional cabdrivers.

PermaLink | 7:06 AM | |

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