Her Ladyship

Notes from the gutter.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

It all makes sense to me now

I had to run home to let a repairperson into my apartment and figured, no problem, I'll just duck outside and get a cab. No dice - there were none to be seen for minutes at a time, and then three empty ones drove past me, tauntingly I might add. (Seriously: one cab was driving the other way, saw me try to wave him down, did a U-turn, and then drove on by.) I was starting to feel self-conscious - did my clothes look particularly ragged today? Finally, when I was starting to rehearse charming explanations to the repairperson of why I was late so he wouldn't leave before I got there, a cab pulled over and let me in.

Back at my desk, I see that the DC cabs have called a 12-hour strike today. Apparently the city is holding a meeting today to discuss potentially overhauling how the cabs function, something the cab commission doesn't want. I think it's beyond the point of where this is necessary. The way the DC cabs are set up is just more salt in the wound that is being a DC resident. Back in the days when Congress ran DC, they established a zone system instead of a meter one. This works well if you live and work on Capitol Hill, because there is one enormous zone surrounding it. But the rest of the city gets hosed. For example: Adams Morgan to Dupont, which is one mile, counts as two zones, but Dupont to the Hill, which is three miles, is one zone.

And don't even get me started on the capriciousness in which cab drivers apply the zone system. I've had cab drivers deliberately drop me off on the side of the street that counts as another zone just to jack up the fare, and I can't even count the times I've been charged two different prices going and coming.

Then you have the cab drivers who get lost and then blame you...the cab drivers who hit on you late at night (one time I rode home in one that would only pick up attractive young women)...the cab drivers who won't take fares that they don't think are high enough (even though legally they have to take anyone they pull over for). I am a fairly easy-going person, but I will rip a cab driver a new one and not even blink. Hate DC cabs.


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