Monday, June 23, 2008

Rants and Raves on Cab Riding in DC

I haven't had a blog entry for a while dedicated to the various rants and raves of readers. So have fun.

Let's hear from you.


At 12:16 PM, Anonymous annie said...

When it's hot, drivers need to bathe!

At 11:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My first tale of a driver aiming for a traffic jam with a meter.

On Saturday afternoon I got on at 7th and Madison NW and specifically told the driver not to take Madison due to the HUGE number of tourist buses unloading in the only traffic lane by the museums. The driver acted like he didn't understand and started to turned into Madison. While he still could have altered his course, I repeated myself MUCH LOUDER. At this point he reached over to turn on the meter for the first time. I got out of the cab.

Now I had a suitcase so I suspect he thought I was a local who would not know the difference. I immediately get another cab who took my requested route and was rewarded with a good tip.

Consumers beware!

At 6:17 AM, Blogger Philip said...

The driver was hurting himself by aiming for a traffic jam. I drove a metered cab in Virginia before I drove a City cab, so I know the game.

Even though the meter does tick while you sit in traffic, the driver does better, as rule, if he gets you to your destination as quickly as he can and moves on to his next customer. The same applies to taking the scenic route. In most cases, the scenic route requires more time, which is detrimental to the driver's purse, at the end of the day.

There are, of course, exceptions. If it is late August, and Congress is out and so is everyone else, it may pay the driver to consume more time on a trip, because who knows when he will find his next customer. But even then, he may be missing another customer while he wastes his time in traffic. It may also pay the driver to take the scenic route on a trip from downtown to Dulles Airport, but for an 'average' trip, from say downtown to Georgetown or Eighteenth and Columbia, the driver is better off taking the most direct route.

One curious thing about the District's meter ordinance is that it contains no provision that requires the driver to take the route that the customer dictates. Every other jurisdiction that uses meters requires this, either by specific rules or precedent. The WMATC Interstate rules contain no provision that requires the driver to do this, but its Adjudication Precendents uphold this provision. The DCTC does need to add such a provision to its rules.


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