Wednesday, May 21, 2008

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.


At 9:01 PM, Blogger Philip said...

The average trip has been playing out two to three dollars less under the meter than under the zones. To be sure, there are exceptions, and many of them, but in the end, the average trip costs the customer less.

As long as the unlicenced drivers stay off the street, what we lose in quality we make up in customer volume. The result, at the end of the day, is the same. The illegals stayed away the first few days in May. After that, they were back at full strength and the bottom line of the legitimate drivers suffered. While there are numerous illegals out this week, it seems that there are fewer than usual. Thus, the bottom line for a legitimate driver is allright.

The problem is the lack of a consistent effort by the authorities to keep the unlicenced drivers off the street. In the case of the illegals, the vehicle is usually legitimate, it is the driver that AIN'T. There is also the problem of the suburban drivers openly working in the City, even in the daytime during the week.

DuPont and North and West to Capitol Hill is paying better. For each one of those, there are more trips within Downtown and trips from Fourteenth Street and West that go to Georgetown and Foggy Bottom. Those trips are paying less, as are trips from Connecticut Avenue to DuPont paying less.

Many drivers are putting the change off until the last minute. That is human nature. Also, many of them had to raise the four-hundred bananas on pretty short notice. They could be in trouble. There is only one meter shop in the City that still has any meters, and they do not have many. The shops are scrambling to find them where they can, but no one seems to be having much luck. Come 1 June, it could be difficult to find a cab, unless there is another extension.

If there is no extension, there will be one radio fleet that will have about half of its cabs sidelined.

These meters are NO GOOD.

At 5:13 AM, Blogger Lugosi said...

The debate is all about resistance to change.

At 6:06 AM, Blogger Philip said...

The change has happened, therefore the debate about resistance to it is over.

The debate is now about the harm being done to the providers and the consumers. Bitter experience is starting to prove what the providers have long contended: the use of time and distance meters in the District of Columbia benefits few and harms many. Some of the further changes that this progressive authoritarian government has planned for the cab business are going to provide more proof for the providers' contention.

What makes us unhappy is the harm, not necessarily change.

Or are you trolling?

At 10:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have yet to be in a cab with a time/distance meter. I've been in probably 15 DC cabs this month.

Yesterday a Montgomery County cab even tried to pick me up. The cab was going southbound on 14th street in Columbia Heights. I refused.

I deal with LOTS of tourists to our city. In general, they feel very ripped off .... even if charged the correct fee. I'm looking forward to the meters which get the tourist comfort.

Oh, this evening I had a zone cab. The fellow complained about meters. He then went the long way around which cost him probably 4 minutes of time and gas. If we had meters, I would have directed him and saved us both time ... and me money. That is a win/win.

At 7:09 AM, Blogger Philip said...

There was an article in Sunday's WASHINGTON POST (The Official Organ of the Progressive Authoritarian Socialist Party of the Nanny States of America) that had quotes from various D.C. Government Officials stating that they would be out there 1 June writing one-thousand dollar summonses to any cab that they caught working without a meter. Revered Dear Leader Kim il-Fenty also appeared on Channel Four Thursday morning and issued a similar message in response to a telephone query.

The basic message is that there will be no quarter shown, not even fifteen cents. If they are planning to pay that much overtime to the Hack Inspectors, I suspect that they are planning to issue a large number of summonses. While they are at it, I do hope that they check for unlicenced drivers and nab any suburban cab that they catch doing street hails.

Hacking without a licence carries a five-hundred dollar penalty to the driver and an additional five-hundred dollar penalty to the owner of the vehicle. In addition, the Police or Hack Office can order the vehicle impounded. Towing and impoundment fees must be close to another five-hundred dollars.

Commission Charman Swain stated in the POST article that they were working on re-opening the test to get the thousand and whatever candidates in the pipeline out of it. One thing that they might consider is to make any candidate caught hacking without a licence ineligible to write the test. More than two or three of these unlicenced hackers out here have been to the school, they simply have not been able to take the test. They figured that they paid their money and are not getting what they think they paid for. Thus, they decided that they will work, licence or no licence.

Anyone who received a summons for hacking without a licence between the time that the test was shut down in 2005 and the date that the Commission re-opens it should be ineligible to write that test and ineligible for a hacking face until 2010, at least.

At 8:54 AM, Blogger DC Cab Rider said...

Also mentioned in the article is why the test was closed. Apparently it was the same test each time and the answers well known & sold among folks taking the test.

At 4:54 PM, Blogger Philip said...

Google needs to do something about this 'Dupicate Action Error' error message that pops up more than a few times when I try to post a comment. I click on the 'REVIEW' button only once and more than a few times this error message appears. Then google sends that which I spent some time typing into electronic oblivion. I am getting really tired of websites timing me out and sending me error messages when I made no error.

Anyhow, on to the subject, let us hope that Google does not try to blame me for its error, again.

There were more problems than the compromise of the integrity of the test. In 2003, and again in 2005, the Commission asked me to work on a Committee that reviewed not only the examinations, but also the syllabus of the class that UDC taught. On this Committee were the Commission Chair, Commissioners, representatives from the University and from the cab business. We made some changes to what the University was to teach as well as to both examinations.

During this time, there was a frequent turnover of Chairs and Acting Chairs. In addition, there were some crises, such as the non-resident owner/operator crisis. Despite these stumbling blocks, we managed to get one complete examination ready to go. We were to work on another, which we would have finished before the first expired.

Still, there were other problems. I will not go into them , here. Suffice it to state that the problems were: a) real b) familiar to me and c) outside the work and/or authority of this Committee.

The Commission has not asked me to serve, this time around. It seems that my standing in this business has been in decline since August, 2007. No self-pity, here, just a statement of fact.

It was not just the integrity of the examination that caused it to be shut down. There were other major problems.


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