Thursday, January 25, 2007

No Drinking While Riding?

WaPo has a story today about drivers in Minneapolis who won't take you as a passenger if you're drinking. Mad Cabbie wouldn't have any passengers left if that was the way of things here!

From the story -

We asked Adan if he'd give us a ride, and let us interview him while he was driving. He agreed. CNN Photojournalist Derek Davis set up a "lipstick" cam, a small camera, positioned on the dashboard.

From the back seat, I asked why Adan would object if I were carrying alcohol.

"The one who drinks, the one who transports, and the one who makes a business of it, they have the same category," he said.

"So, by my transporting my alcohol in your cab, you are sinning?" I asked.

"Sinning to God, yes," he replied.

Adan is not alone. About three quarters of the 900 cabbies serving the airport are Muslim, and many have been regularly refusing passengers carrying beer, wine or liquor.


At 1:49 AM, Anonymous Roy Wilke said...

Personally, I'd rather not have passengers drinking in my cab: and not for religious or wowserish reasons:

1) In Australia (where I am), it's illegal to eat, drink or smoke in a taxi;

2) As taxis here generally aren't equipped with riot shields to separate drivers from passengers, a bottle or can could make for a handy and vicious impromptu weapon;

3) When it comes to alcohol, especially at night, booze in a taxi often brings out the passenger's inner drongo; and

4) It's not good for passenger safety in the event of a prang. The prospect of choking to death on the bottle you were drinking from is not exactly an attractive one

At 2:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I happen to come across your blog looking for the new DC zone map on the web.

I have to tell you my horrific event with taxi cabs at 3am Friday night two weeks ago. I was trying to get home in Silver Spring from a night out drinking with friends so I was not smart enough to take down company names or cab #s. I was just worried about my own safety getting home.

The story starts that I left the bar and walked by myself up to the north corner of U and 9th Streets,NW. I knew it was the boundry for zones- not the smartest idea. I should have stayed in the bar and called for a pickup and spent the extra money. First issue, no cabs would pick me up to go to Silver Spring. I started getting scared.

Finally one picked me up and wanted $25! I figured out the next day it was a 6.5 mile trip, which should have cost about $15. I knew it was $18 home from Georgetown so he was asking for alot. Besides, I didn't have $25 in cash so he says he can drop me off where other cabs can pick me up. So he drops me off at the Northeast corner of Meridian Park, ahh! Thank god I didn't have to wait longer than a minute.

The second cabbie wanted $20 and was harrassing me to give it to him ahead of time. He said by law he had the right, don't know if this is true? At this point I didn't trust anyone and we compromised with me counting out my money to him to show him I had it. We argued about the price the whole way to my house. I told him I would pay it because I wanted to get home but he was ripping me off. He tried to convince me going up 16th street we had gone through 4 zones. I explained to him I could read the wacked out maps and knew it was only 3 zones to the MD border so I knew he was lying to me.

When I finally got home I locked the door behind me and broke out crying. I think it will be a while before I go out in downtown DC again and depend on cab ride home. Going to school and now working in DC area I have dealt with many taxi issues. I thought knowing the DC zone map would prevent me from having problems with cab drivers. The DC gov't needs to fix the many problems with the cab system. I think meters would solve alot of issues. It feels good to be able to post this somewhere, I can't really report anyone from this event becasue I didn't get any info from the cabs. I will look forward to more info about the dc cab system on your blog.

At 8:47 AM, Blogger DC Cab Rider said...

Anonymous - sorry you had such a horrid night. It is true that by law the driver can ask for the money ahead of time. But the money they were charging? That's just not right. If you can, take down the name and number of the cab because you can report violations.

I'm glad you found this blog & shared (and I'm ashamed I don't post as often as I want to or should since I recently moved).

All I would add is not to write off DC cabs altogether. I have had far many more positive experiences than negative (money and driver interaction). It's a crap shoot anywhere. I don't know NYC that well and always wonder if I'm being driven directly somewhere, or getting a tour of the city first.

Take care!


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