First of all let me be clear that I was one of the troopers responsible for getting Mayor Fenty elected by going door to door in ward 7 and ward 8, since most of his supporters (in some cases even himself) were pussies to walk around those neighborhoods. And you all know that if you don't carry those wards you can't be a mayor in DC. I supported him because I have seen him speak about the homeless crisis in the city and I liked what he had to say and so far it's lip service but I will give him a chance.
The mayor reveled the new fare structure for taxicabs in DC yesterday and I have a problem with it. If you have been reading this blog for a while you know that I am a reasonable guy who always supported the meter system. During the 60-day request for comment period the city received about 2,100 comments and majority of those are dissatisfied of the proposed $4.00 base rate few months ago. I completely agree that the $4.00 base rate was too high even though Montgomery county cabs charge that much. So they reduced it by a $1.00 to $3.00 base rate, the problem is they didn't stop there, so they also eliminated the extra passenger surcharge. Now DC cabs are the only ones that don't have the surcharge for extra passengers in the metropolitan DC area and not with in area industry standard. More passengers means more consumption of gas, more tear and wear on the vehicle and more boring and painful conversations that passengers carry on amongst each other that the driver has to listen to. Let me give you a few examples how DC cabs got the short end of the stick comparing to area surrounding counties:
BASE FARE- Arlington Co.-$2.75 Fairfax Co.-$2.75 Montgomery Co.-$4.00 DC CABS-$3.00
PER-MILE- Arlington Co.-$1.80 Fairfax Co.-$1.80 Montgomery Co.-$1.60 DC CABS-$1.50
EXTRA PASSR-Arlington Co.-$1.00 Fairfax Co.-$1.00 Montgomery Co.-$1.00 DC CABS-None
TRAFFIC TIME Arlington Co.-$22.50/hr Fairfax Co.-$22.50/hr Montgomery Co.-$24.00/hr DC CABS-$15.00/hr
...and on top of that, please don't laugh, you can hire Mad cabbie and drag him all over DC and lets say from Chevey Chase during morning rush hour all the way to Bowling Air force Base which is about a 13 mile trip, according to the new fare structure I can not charge you over $18.90 no matter how long the trip takes and in this scenario it may take an hour or so. What is this? the old Soviet Union or a modern day slavery? Oh! I forgot, we are mostly foreigners and niggers driving cabs so it's okay! right Mr Mayor?
"I think this will meet the needs of the drivers and also the riding public," Fenty said after the announcement. MEET THE NEEDS OF THE DRIVERS???? are you out of your freaken mind Mr. Mayor? What planet are you living in? How could you say that after you slashed about 20% of a poor cab driver's income to satisfy the lobbyists on K street and the lawyers on Pennsylvania Avenue. You gave yourself and your peeps a pay raise (which you rejected when you were a councilman by the way and that's another story) and if I am not wrong you make about $200,000 so how about taking a $40,000 pay cut? that's exactly what you did for a group who supported you in the most part.
The out come of this would be long working hours for drivers and less maintained cabs that could put passenger safety at risk. I don't want to hear about more driver's strike, it doesn't work besides pissing off the riding public and the riding public is our friend not the enemy, and the mayor can make a single phone call to Bangladesh and import 6000 drivers while we are striking. The best way to approach this to have our own email campaign and find a way to communicate with the city to at least to bring back the extra passenger surcharge in to place.
Please don't forget the homeless and the way I see things there is going to be more homeless cab drivers.
P.S This post will be emailed to the mayor's office.