Sunday, June 22, 2008


So here we are weeks into meter world and I've found that the meter rate for most of my trips is about what I've paid before INCLUDING the tip. So now my question has been. Do I pay the meter AND more tip, or do I pay only meter and no tip - which was about the same as before?

I've found that I really have started reacting to the ride. I used to tip automatically. Now I leave a tip if the driver was good, the cab clean, the ride undramatic. But where the driver's been a pain in the ass, the cab a mess, or the ride a herky-jerky stop/speed-fest full of honking and screaming, I just go with the meter rate.


At 10:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Under the zone, I used the "round up to nearest currency in my wallet" method. I was widely motivated that my most frequent destination was just three blocks into another zone.

My tips now reflect the value of the service. I actually reward (via both tips and verbal praise)drivers who have a clean vehicle and drive carefully.

Here is a warning to cab drivers everywhere, talking on a cell phone (even if handfree phones) will result in ZERO tips. I allow exemptions for short conversions, I understand that drivers need to get jobs from preferred customers and dispatchers. There is no excuse for being on the phone for the entire duration of my 15 minute cab ride.

At 2:50 AM, Blogger Paradise Driver said...

That is exactly the way it should be.

At 6:22 AM, Blogger Philip said...

Yes, please continue to tip. First, this is a tough job. Second, the meter rates are far too low, as a rule. Third, the price of gasolene is such that the one-dollar surcharge does not make up for it. While some might argue for an increase in the surcharge, you can only increase it so much before you start to price the service out of its market.

Tip automatically? No. I do not disagree that you should either not tip or be stingy with it if the service is less than acceptable. 'Anonymous' and the OP have cited examples of less-than-acceptable service: dangerous driving, yakking on the telephone, yelling at people, filthy cab, unwashed driver, whining, uninformed driver, nasty driver, non-English speaking driver......................

I would not blame you if you did not pay a driver who was not displaying his hack licence (face). Usually, if I get into a cab and do not see the face, I ask for it. If the driver gives me a bunch of lip about it or will not show it, I get out. Every once in a while, I will take the trip and when we arrive at my destination, I just get out. When No-Licence starts screaming about his money, I tell him that it is in the same place as his hack licence. If he produces the face (and it is HIS photograph on it), I will produce the money, but no tip. No face, no pay, and I WELCOME his calling the Police. One driver did it, and when I pointed out to the Officer that the driver had no licence, the Officer sent me on my way and called for a tow truck to impound the car. If a suburban cab stops for me, I do similarly, but only on occasion (It depends on how much I feel like taking a chance of a collision). If I take the trip in the suburban cab, HE DOES NOT GET PAID. Oh, and please call the Police, please Alexandria Cab Driver, PLEASE call the Police.........

I try not to ride in a cab with an unlicenced driver too often (or take a City trip in a suburban cab, for that matter) because there is the question of insurance. If an unlicenced driver, (or a suburban driver making an illegal trip) is involved in a collision in which he is at fault and I suffer bodily injury, there is NO INSURANCE COVERAGE. The insurance companies have an exclusion for 'unauthorised drivers'. Unlicenced is unauthorised.

If these unlicenced and suburban drivers get beat out enough times, they will stop their illegal activities; the Police and Hack Inspectors seem unwilling to keep the illegals off the streets.

At 3:59 PM, Blogger DC Cab Rider said...

Gotta disagree with you Phillip. The meter rates may be too low for you, but every single ride I've had so far has been more. One out to a friend's place in what used to be Zone 3 was $7 higher!

At 6:24 AM, Blogger Philip said...

Your trips are the exception, RiderLady. Most of the trips that I run are much less. There are several fares that used to be fourteen dollars (three zones, radio call and gasolene) that are now nine-fifty. There are also many that used to be nine-eighty (two zones off the street and gasolene) that are now not even seven dollars (less than what was one zone and the gasolene).

The only things that are really paying, with any consistency, that is, are the K Street-Capitol Hill Shuttle,in the day time; and trips from Adams-Morgan, Georgetown, Woodley Park and Cleveland Park to Union Station. The latter seem to pay even on weekends.

Trips from East of the Anacostia to Hospital Hill (WHC, Vet, Children's and NRH), downtown and Georgetown are also paying.


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