Taxi Cabs

I want to start a miniature revolution in order to change the taxi cab situation in Washington, D.C.. Who’s with me? We’ll start small. We’ll begin by hopping out of a cab when said cab pulls over to pick up another fare. I hate this. You have no idea how much so. The rule is that he or she cabby is able to pull over and pick up another passenger if said new passenger isn’t going more than five blocks away from your destination. Which, we all know that in a city this could mean being a half an hour late. Now granted, it’s never really that bad. However, one day my cab driver picked up not one extra person, not two, but THREE extra people. What did I do? I fumed and then moved to the front seat because I was the only girl. Anyway, it’s wrong. And this situation does not better the experience for the customer, each person still must pay for each individual trip at full cost based on the ridiculous zone system. It only gets Mr. phone-yabbin cabby more money, and makes the passenger late.

I could get started on protesting the zone system but I’ve learned to choose my battles. For those of you who don’t know about the D.C. Cab system it’s based on zones. I was told once this betters those traveling downtown. Therefore if you’re a congressperson, a businessperson, a politician person, or a tourist going from one monument to another, the zone system isn’t so bad. I think you get off by paying about 5 dollars. (See the downtown area, Zone 1). If you live here, and if you happen to live above Florida avenue, you sorta get screwed, sometimes paying up to 12 or more dollars. If you’re going from say, Dupont Circle to Adam’s Morgan for example. it’s an absurdly short distance and an unjustifiably large fare. And it makes me crazy.

I have gotten out of cabs at the south side of Florida. I have hopped out of cabs as they pick up new fares. I have complained about the additional dollar added to stopping at an ATM (which is not always enforced and therefore highly annoying when sprung on you, given all the other hidden, ridiculous rules).

Last night after another bad experience with a cab driver going 499 mph while gabbing in some crazy language at full volume to a friend over a cell phone, I had this vision of making a change. I have had this idea before, in reference to the cab drivers of the land of Taxation without Representation, but last night it hit to level passion. And I realize there is a war going on, and I realize I could protest the presidency of GW Bush, I realize I could act as the catalyst for something more life-altering but those items tend to overwhelm me. And, holy shit, someone do something about the fucking D.C. cab system already.

(Please note: I have the ability to construct a much better “essay” but this time around I’m more interested in hearing stories).


  1. I too get out when they try to pick up another fare. and always walk the block or so south of florida if i am going to pick up a cab.. though on the positive side, i have learned tons of
    er ways to zoom about DC metro in a car, shortcuts, sppedways, and secret paths.


  2. ugh, spellcheck.. ”
    er ways, yo!”


  3. Well, this was a hot topic wasn’t it? heh.

    Poop seems to fly much better.


  4. bodily function talk is always funny.

    I’ve never experienced a cabbie picking up other passengers but, then again, I don’t cab very often.



  5. Next time a cabbie does this … poop in their cab. Now THAT’S a revolution I can get behind!


  6. not if you’re the second passenger.


  7. Took a cab when I was 12 to a flute lesson (yes, I am a nerd) in my hometown of Sheboygan, WI. The cab, (which was really just an old, dirty, poop-brown station wagon…not a huge cab market in Wisconsin) had what appeared to be a bullet hole in the windshield. Her cab ended up breaking down in our driveway, and I had to push her out to get her jump started in the pouring rain. After all of that, I understood why there was a bullet hole in her windsheild, cause I would’ve shot her, too.


  8. Get over it….if its the law to pick up more passengers in route its the law period.
    Why blame the cabbie ? Cab drivers don’t make a lot of money…most of them need to make $50-$100 a day before they see any profit…So they have to be creative and smart to make a living , as long as it is legal, which I know it is , I don;t have any problem with it.


  9. First of all, I’d like to remind you, Ashley, the nature of our government is that if one of these little rules is disagreeable we can change if our voices are heard.

    But beside the legal issue, many cities, mainly NYC, do just fine employing the meter system picking up one passenger at a time.

    My only point, and it’s an argument many have living in D.C., is that this rule doesn’t benefit anyone involved but the driver. And at times, regardless of the 5 block maximum rule, it actually puts the driver OUT of his or her way.

    It’s (notice my use of the apostrophe on IT’S) annoying. It needs to be reworked. Either a driver should charge only 1.5 the fare, making it beneficial for everyone involved, or not do it at all.


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