Oddly enough, last night I actually hit a cab without a meter. Driver said he was getting it tomorrow. Cutting it nice and close there. I know I wouldn't mess with a $1000 fine!
Well the verdict is in for my rides at least. They're all more expensive with meters. Anywhere from a couple of bucks to $6 more on one. Each driver I've asked has said two things 1) he's making less money on meters than zones; and 2) yes, he's making more money off of me. Guess I'm the only passenger paying more by meters LOL.
So as of tomorrow everyone's on the meter, or hiding from police while trying to operate on zones.
Any thoughts from folk on the last month of mixed rides?
With Just Over a Week to Go
I continue to get more cabs without meters than those with. And with only one exception in half a dozen rides, the cost has been MORE with the meter than with the zone. So I am still perplexed at the resistance to meters by drivers. If they're making more money off of me, am I that much of a rarity? I can't imagine I am.
How Long to Get a Cab?
So how long do you wait for a cab you've called before you call it quits? I guess if you're in great shape and not far from a main road it wouldn't be long. But if you've got two bad knees, it's raining like mad and your only umbrella is broken? How long then? This morning for one reader, it was 1 hour before she called to check on her cab - to be told that "we're working on it." So she waited, she said that a cab was her only option when her husband had the car out of town. Another forty minutes later, she called again. This time, nobody answered the phone after 20-some rings. So she called a different company, which produced a cab in about 15 minutes.
Thoughts from the crew?
More Meter Fun
Ok, I've had three meter cab rides now. Each time I've asked the driver how long he's had the meter in and what he thinks of it so far. The first two drivers seemed resigned to them, but not at all happy about it, the third driver was quite enthused about them. He said he was glad not to have to try and justify fares to tourists anymore. He followed that with a long story about a family who traveled just a few blocks, but crossed a zone line with resulting screams and threats from the father.
For my part, the fares were all higher than the zone(s) would have been, from just slightly more to a few dollars more on one ride. It's fascinating to watch the change over & get such a wide variety of thoughts of where it is all going.
But as that third driver pointed out yesterday, in 2 months this will all be history and nobody will even remember what the fuss was all about.
Meters - The Latest in Safety Equipment?
I've figured it out. Meters aren't about less money for drivers, or some conspiracy of shadowy figures to own the DC cab market. Nope. Meters are about public safety.
I finally hit the cab lottery yesterday - a cab with a meter in it (and after only 4 rides in non-metered cabs since the 1st).
I gave my destination and we set out . . . slowly. The whole trip, cars were passing us in the other lane. I just had to peak and then was laughing inside. I think at one point we might have hit 35 mph. And I'm not talking downtown DC in traffic - no, this was a trip that took us through Rock Creek Parkway and along Massachusetts Ave. In all of my years in DC the only time I've ridden in a cab that slow the driver looked to be about 95.
So I have it figured out now. Meters = public safety. Instead of drivers that go as fast as they can to dump you out to get another fare, now we'll have rides that stroll along at snail's pace.
I may not have any money left when this is over - but I will be safe!
More or less. Today is the day cabs are supposed to have meters, but there is a month-long grace period where they will receive warnings for not having them.
Rode in 2 cabs today and neither had a meter. No surprise. Of the 7,000 or so cabs in the city, I've seen reports estimating that not even 1,000 have either gotten meters or have appointments to get them. It's definitely not going to be a quick process to transfer everyone over. Especially for those who were waiting to see if Mayor Fenty was going to be overruled.
Riders - if you get a metered cab, let us know. I will post when I get my first metered cab ride in DC.