Friday, November 30, 2007

What Would Jesus Drive?

Not sure, but Jesus certainly has a fan in the driver I had this afternoon. Twenty minutes of rush hour traffic between downtown & Georgetown. All of which was filled with a non-stop recitation of biblical quotations and the word on an apparent world conspiracy of catholic churches to take over the world. Wasn't quite following all of it - but it was an interesting experience.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Forget Meters vs. Zones - How About IEDs?

From today's Washington Post -

"BAGHDAD -- Haider Abbas, a 36-year-old taxi driver, had only a few moments to answer what is often a life-or-death question in this city: Would he drive a passenger home?

The home, on that scorching afternoon last month, happened to be in Adhamiyah, a notoriously dangerous neighborhood where several cabbies had been gunned down. Abbas hadn't been there in two years. But the fare pleaded that it had become safer, so the cabbie reluctantly agreed to go. "To tell you the truth, I thought I had just traded my life for 5,000 dinars," or $4, said Abbas. . . .

In a city where few residents believe official statements on declining violence, whether from the U.S. military or the Iraqi government, some of the most reliable figures on security improvements can be found on the odometers of Baghdad's taxi drivers.

After years of sectarian warfare whittled down the list of neighborhoods where they could safely work, cabbies are once again crisscrossing nearly all of Baghdad. Every day they assess the constantly shifting boundaries between danger and security, hoping that life will return to normal, but mindful that this is still a city where anyone could be killed at any moment for no particular reason."

Remembering Sean Taylor

There are a couple of photographs of Sean and his baby girl floating around that I wanted to share, but can't find them online. His little girl is so lovely. And it is so sad that she is going to be growing up without a father.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving All

Whatever it is you have for dinner.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Just about every cab ride I've taken lately has involved the driver asking me what I think about the meter issue (ok, not every ride, only when I'm traveling alone. Drivers are usually nice enough not to interrupt when I'm chatting with friend/co-worker in cab).

My favorite conversations have been almost identical with two different drivers. Each asked me what I thought, and my answer was that I didn't really care one way or the other. Each then launched into a monologue about how it would cost me more money under the meter system (as one pointed out repeatedly - "see, we're stopped now. That's costing you money under meters.") and tell me I should work against them.

And each time I asked the driver - so if meters cost me more - they make more money for you, so you must love them. Why don't you?

No real response either time.

Best / Worst Cab Companies

Well at this stage, Diamond has a pretty good lead as worst cab company and Yellow strong lead as best. But Diamond also has good best numbers.

Best Cab Company
Yellow (13)
Diamond (9)
UCC (3)
Sun (1)

Worst Cab Company
Diamond (12)
UCC (8)
Yellow (6)
Dial (5)
Royal (3)
Sun (1)

Something that's interesting to me is that of the six companies in the poll, every single one of them as at least 1 vote for worst company. But two of them (Dial/Royal) can't even manage one vote for best company. I'd love to hear from folks on why they've voted the way they have.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Dynasty cab #66 - an email from Susan

I'm sharing the following email from Susan (who continues to refuse to become a co-poster on this board) about her ride to work this morning.

So I'm standing on the sidewalk, about to hail a cab when this yellow cab goes flying across two lanes of traffic for me - I decided if he was that determined for a fare, I'd put my hand up to say sure, I want a cab. Well his excitement at having a fare dropped the moment I gave my address, which was not directly downtown, but towards Capital Hill. So the guy starts moaning and groaning about this isn't his cab (isn't that illegal?) and he's got to get it back to the guy who owns it, and he doesn't have any gas, and he just thought he'd do me a favor (this is a favor? Listening to the guy bitch and moan for blocks?) and it'll take forever to get there and he doesn't have time. So what's he want from me? An apology for getting in the cab? Just a few blocks later he swerves into a busy lane, but not to see how many people would honk at him for it, but to pick up a woman who is trying to get a cab. She brushes him off and gets in one of the two empty cabs that he cut in front of. So then I get a lecture on the woman not getting in the cab (what happened to not enough gas or time? Now we've suddenly got both enough to stop for another fare? But it doesn't stop there. He stops for two other people along the way, neither of them want the cab or are going the right way.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Meter Rates

As "" noted in a comment below, Mayor Fenty has set preliminary rates for meters in DC. The base amount ($4.00 for the first 1/6 of a mile) would make it the highest in the US. The reasoning seems to be a desire to keep downtown trip rates about the same as they are now ($6.50 for most trips around downtown center).

In addition to that, Fenty recommended keeping the rush-hour surcharge (morning & afternoon rush hours, cab rides cost $1 extra in DC). Fenty will hear public comments over the next 60 days. This page can be used for general comments to the Mayor to register your thoughts. The DC taxicab commission will meet on Wed., Dec. 19, 11am on rates & rules. Here is the general contact info page for the commission. Any and everyone with an opinion on meters - contact away!

The change is currently set to go into effect on April Fool's Day. (fun timing there) For those of you wondering what your cost might be, Washingtonian did some estimates:

19th and K sts., NW, to Cannon House Office Building (Independence and New Jersey aves., SE)—3.1 miles.
Meter, $8.75; zone, $6.50.

The Palm restaurant (19th and M sts., NW) to Georgetown (35th and O sts., NW)—1.6 miles.
Meter, $6.50; zone, $8.80.

Four Seasons Hotel (2800 Pennsylvania Ave., NW) to the White House—1.4 miles.
Meter, $6.25; zone, $8.80.

Union Station to Dupont Circle (19th and P sts., NW)—3.8 miles.
Meter, $9.75; zone, $6.50.

Tenleytown (4200 Wisconsin Ave., NW) to 15th and K sts., NW—4.1 miles.
Meter, $10.25; zone, $11.

Logan Circle (11th and P sts., NW) to Reagan National Airport—6.6 miles.
Meter, $14; zone, $12.25.

Verizon Center (Sixth and F sts., NW) to Hay-Adams Hotel (16th and H sts., NW)—1.2 miles.
Meter, $6; zone, $6.50.

Adams Morgan (18th St. and Columbia Rd., NW) to RFK Stadium (2400 E. Capitol St., NE)—5 miles.
Meter, $11.75; zone, $11.

Cady’s Alley in Georgetown (3318 M St., NW) to Woodley Park (2800 block of Connecticut Ave., NW)—2.9 miles.
Meter, $8.50; zone, $6.50.