Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Question 4 Cabbies - Routine and Unusual

What is the average run (passenger type or number, or route) that you have?

What is the most unusual run (passenger type or number, or route) that you have had?

Just based on my taxi rides, I'd say the average downtown DC weekday run is 1 or 2 people going between Capital Hill and K street area. So different cities, different schedules -- share!

Mark and Oprah

My friend Mark was subjected to something he never expected in a cab. A driver with a tv. Apparently up on the dashboard for the driver to watch as well as passenger. Ok, well a TV that a driver watches in DC traffic -- that's one scary thing by itself. But apparently the driver was watching Oprah, a show Mark would apparently rather blind himself before watching. And even better, it seems they were trapped in some bad DC traffic, not moving for a few blocks and wouldn't change the channel.

Mark has now moved to a state where the mere mention of the name "Oprah" sends him into a spiral of fear and agony.

Well done cab driver.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Stopping for Susan - New Day, New Story

Just got off the phone with Susan. She had to share tonight's story and I'll write it up.

She was hailing a cab outside her office. A Dial cab came by, picked her up. Started driving, then asked, "you have a voucher?" She said no, then he asked, "did your office call for a cab?" "No," she said. Well apparently he'd been called for. So he dropped her off at the end of the block.

So she's back out hailing a cab again. Nothing. A dark, unmarked car is stopped at the light. The guy shouts through the open window - you want a cab? "Yes," she says. He says he'll take her. She looks at the car, it is NOT a cab, just a car. Now Susan's like me. She also takes cabs at night because she doesn't much care for walking home from the metro if it's late or dark. So here a strange guy in a car is offering up a ride. She says no. He keeps asking. Finally he flags down a cab and sends him over to Susan.

Who finally gets to go home.

Memo to guy in unmarked car -- it's a leap of faith for women alone to get into a cab, but we pretty much figure that's a safe call. (and no, I'm NOT looking for stats on the % of cab drivers who are actually serial killers). But get into a car with a stranger in the city on a dark night?

Uh ... no. no thanks.

Waiting for a Bus Can Be Hazardous to Your Health?

I was waiting at a bus stop this morning for the D6. I was waiting on a nice bench, just south of Dupont Circle. There were 2 other women on the bench. I started reading my paper (I always take the Style section to metro/bus with). A few minutes after I got there, a fire engine pulled up in front of the bus stop. They didn't rush out of it or anything, so I wasn't too concerned (other than wondering where my bus would be able to stop now), so went back to reading my paper.

A second or two later, there's a fireman in front of me asking, "what's the problem, ma'am?"

uh... no problem sir, I'm just reading my newspaper.

Then one of the other women on the bench says, "no, it's for us." apparently they were strangers, one had had a seizure earlier, but was sitting up and fine now. And the 2nd woman was just waiting for emergency personnel with her.

So they started drilling poor seizure woman on date ("I don't know") -- heck I never know the date. But she got day of the week, location and time of day right, so I think she was doing ok. My bus came along about then, so wandered off, grateful the firemen didn't just start tossing water on me or doing CPR or something! Nice of them to what the problem is first.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

What's Your Honking Philosophy?

Now I don't own a car, but I do rent and borrow them from time to time. And I've noticed that there are a wide range of honking philosophies in DC. Mine is using the horn in only 2 instances. 1) to warn of immediate danger; and 2) when passing by ex-high school math teacher's house and only when in friend's car.

I've noticed drivers who seem to enjoy honking for the heck of it, those who do it when folks honk at them for doing something stupid, and dozens of other reasons.

What is YOUR honking philosophy?

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Stopping for Susan?

A couple of friends (and friends of friends) have sent over stories to include. Here's one of them.

Susan lives on upper Connecticut Ave. She called Diamond Cab for a taxi one morning. She gave the address and went downstairs to wait. It was cold out, so she waited just inside the door. About 15 minutes later, a Diamond cab pulled up in front of the building, slowed down, and as she walked out the door to get into the cab, sped up and left. Susan & a passerby both waved and shouted at the cab but it kept going. Where? Uh... just up the street. Across the street just half a block away the cab turned around to pick up a woman who was flagging down a cab on the street. The same cab then came back, stopped in front of Susan and she got in. The first woman got out at her stop, and Susan was taken to hers. When she got there - the driver wanted the extra dollar for it being a called-for cab. Susan refused, pointing out that the guy just drove off without even stopping at the address and probably wouldn't even have come back for her if she hadn't been shouting for him as he drove off.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


I was thinking the other day about vouchers. In the early 90s I volunteered at our local AIDs clinic as a buddy (paired one on one with a person with AIDs). My buddy was a woman who had a habit of sliding in and out of rehab, in and out of housing, I adored her, but she was a handful :). I remember the clinic gave her taxi vouchers that she could use to get rides to the hospital and other therapy that she needed to go to.

Do other cities do taxi vouchers? How do drivers feel about them? Get them much? I think it's such a wonderful thing from a rider stand point -- so people who need rides that they can't otherwise get can have them. But was wondering what the drivers thought.