It's August People - Go Away!
I've decided to believe that part of the new higher cost of cab riding in DC for me has been traffic. Rush hour sucks in DC (I've heard it sucks more outside of DC, but really, who would bother driving or living outside the district?). So hey, it's August, everyone in DC leaves the city, so rush hour should be much less, and driving much faster. Don't do cabs as much these days (Do Metro until I get stuck at a stop when they decide to stop running the trains for a while, then get pissed off and stay away.) But it seems like rush hour is still an annoying rush hour.
When are people leaving? Why aren't you folks going away? Leave already!!! Scat!
Diamond cab #926 - run!!!
I can't believe I didn't remember my own advice from this blog a few years back. Cab #926 in the Diamond group is operated by some psycho. Had a ride in the cab today that made me start wishing I was Catholic and had rosaries to fondle! Definitely a crazy driver.
A Bit Quick on the Trigger?
Driver the other day started the meter before I even opened the door. Since I'm paying 30% more per ride these days (I thought it was bad, when I did the math I got a rage headache), I was not amused. For some sad reason it took me a very long time to actually get out of the cab when we arrived. I'm such a forgetful klutz.
Yes, I am still here. And still riding in cabs (far less often, and for far more money, more on that later). As of almost a year ago, you can now call me Mrs. DC Cab Rider, but for ease of use reasons, I will continue to use my maiden name. A new job, a wedding (note to prospective brides, courthouse weddings rule! You still get all the gifts and you don't spend your life savings on a silly party), and other life changes. But still in DC.
And that brings me to riding cabs. The cost when I started blogging for a cab from home to downtown was $12. Remember the Zone System? So then cabs got meters and a price raise. My cost went up to $17. To save that $5 I rode fewer cabs. And as a result drivers screamed poverty (really? a raise = poverty?) and got another raise. Now my cost is $25 on good days. I've broken the $30 barrier twice. Drivers are now bitching to me that they can't charge extra for more passengers. They don't bitch about it long because I hit them with the "are you NUTS?!! I'm screwed at these prices and you're bitching about this 2nd raise?"
Have you heard about Uber? I have. I like Uber. I use Uber. It's about the same cost, but without the feeling that I'm being played. More down the road when I'm not pissed off (yeah, had a $34 cab ride today - so venting).
Is it Me?
First, sorry for not posting much - life intervenes, and fewer cabs being taken.
Second - is it not posting so much that has offended the cab community to such an extent that 3 out of the last 3 cabs I've ridden have been trash dumps. Falling apart, horribly maintained, and full of who knows what all over the front seats & back floors. I almost asked one driver to redirect and drive me to an ER for a tetanus shot!
I know we tend to get a bit relaxed about life in the summer, but guys, really, if you don't want people to open the door, scream, and then slam it in disgust. Or if you harbor any hopes of getting through inspection without bribing someone, clean up the cabs!
Yes, still here
Apparently there was another strike the other day. The cabbie who picked me up told me about it. Then showed me a flyer about it. And yet still were tons of cabs on the street (I didn't have to wait long before getting one).
So if the drivers hope to make anything happen - you are going to have to get much better organized! During the last strike I was picked up by a guy who didn't know there was a strike.
Ok, if you're going to strike you need to be much, much better organized. I didn't know there was supposed to be a taxi strike today until a cab pulled up next to the one I was in and the driver asked my driver. Turns out the other guy thought Monday was strike day and he'd stayed home. There were a lot of cabs out today for a strike.
Stinky Driver - yuck
Hey Mad Cabbie - you have to let us know what day of the week it is that the Diamond Cab drivers have that shower. Opened a Diamond Cab door this morning and BO smell just flashed over me like a flash flood! I quickly said I changed my mind, closed the door and let him move on. Caught a cab a few minutes later. Feel really sorry for whoever ended up with that guy, it was on K street this morning, really busy, so I'm sure he did pick up someone who needed the ride bad enough to trade breathing for it. And stupid me, I didn't even think to get the guy's cab number until hours later!
I have had more than a couple of drivers - including one today - who have had their radios set so they are blasting loud in the back. Apparently some can't figure out that there are settings for back speakers and front speakers? Or some only have the back speakers working? Or maybe they just think passengers really really want to hear whatever is on at deafening volumes.
Vice Magazine takes on DC Cabbies
There's a short piece on DC Cab drivers and (ok, so the author didn't get too creative) their interest in politics. You can read it here
Someday maybe someone will write an article that doesn't turn everyone in the city into a political force. Some of us just live & work here.
In District BM (Before Meters), drivers could cram as many riders into the cab as they could get, all going different places. In District AM, that option official exists only from Union Station. So I was a little surprised to have been in two cabs in the past few weeks doing ride sharing. Each time the first person in (once it was me) was on the meter, and the 2nd person in (other time me) was given a price that basically corresponded to the BM rate days.
Am wondering if others have noticed that ride sharing seems to be making a comeback.
Lame Blogger Still Lame
Sorry I'm not keeping the blog going these days - lots of other things going on in life. Am doing some contracting work and have gone back to school. So not lots of free time. And not much cab riding going on.
Am excited about getting a new president, but it's hell on traffic :). Penn Ave in front of the White House got closed of some years ago, but now with Obamas in the Hay Adams, they've closed off H street and a few others. Then come the inaugural, and it's going to be hell on wheels to drive in the city. Will be interesting to see how many cab drivers brave the city over inaugural weekend.
Even the unemployed can vote! ;). Sorry haven't posted much - poor people (and those who don't get reimbursed by work) don't take as many cabs it turns out.
But I did take one that was memorable. Diamond Cab #32. Lets just say that this gentleman perhaps should not be driving at night? Or have eyesight checked? Or ...
While I'm pounding the pavement - let me know what your dream job is in the new poll.
Posting sooner than I thought
Yelled at a cab driver a couple of days ago. Couldn't help myself. Just came out. A friend had taken me out to dinner and hailed a cab to take us back home (friends are being great to me these days!). Just a few minutes after we get in the cab, driver starts going on and on about the new meters, how unfair they are to drivers, etc. Sarah mentions that she's paid about the same for most of her rides, I say that I have paid more on average. Driver keeps going anyhow. We get a 5 minute rant on how much money he's losing especially when the meter stops at $19. After all of that I finally shouted back at him - "well at least you HAVE a job. Not all of us do!" Sarah burst out laughing at me and I started laughing at her. The driver was not amused. Started in on how being out of work would make him more money than driving does these days.
We decided to just tune him out and started having our own conversation. I don't know what Sarah gave him as a tip, but I doubt if it was much.