Friday, January 18, 2008


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.

Mad Cabbie.

P.S This post will be emailed to the mayor's office.


Red said...

As someone who doesn't use cabs I was clueless. I'm amazed that Fenty can even think this might meet the drivers needs. On top of that the regulations they have put in place for DC cab drivers, e.g. not renewing unless they are DC residents, will lose them a lot of needed cabs.
It was dog-eat-dog when it was zones and it will only get worse now.
Sorry dude! You need to switch and drive for Barwood or just get the hell out.

Anonymous said...

I'm a regular (several times a week) cab rider, and I agree that the extra passenger charge made sense. And charges like that are common in other cities -- sometimes starting with the second passenger, sometimes with the third.

I also think the public is going to be hurt by the elimination of the rush hour surcharge. I love the fact that at rush hour it's not that hard to find a cab. If drivers don't have an extra incentive to work through those hours, some of them will give it a pass, and we'll all have a harder time getting around.

(I do wish they had eliminated the luggage charge, because nobody ever knows when it should or should not be applied.)

Anonymous said...

i've got a feeling that cabbies will just start picking up an extra fare going in the same direction, and so make more money.

Matsyoo said...

If cabbies weren't always out to screw their passengers or knew how to get to places like Chevy Chase or Bolling AFB, then maybe the public or the Mayor's office would have a bit more sympathy. You reap what you sow.

Peggy said...

That new system sucks! I hope it doesn't take any cab drivers to the wall. Hang in there Mad.

Lugosi said...

Fairfax county also has a $1 fuel surcharge. That's been in almost continuous effect since gas prices shot up after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Beth said...

Matsyoo, the fact that some drivers rip off their passengers doesn't justify the injustice being done to the entire cab industry!


Lugosi said...

One other thing I've been wondering about: Mayor Fenty set an April deadline for the meters. Is that enough time?
Right now all the meter shops in the DC area are geared to serving a few thousand suburban cabs, and many of them are only worked on once every few years. All of a sudden, these same meter shops are going to get slammed with having to install meters in seven thousand more cabs in the course of three months. Can that even be done?

yellow 47 said...

Lugosi, Let the rat race begin! Fenty has some bunch of idiots advising him and from now on when I see a group of people on a Friday night, I am not going to bother with them...I will be looking for a single passenger fare if it pays the same....why should I fuck up my shocks carrying more fat Americans...We were discussing about this with Mad Cabbie last night at the Bunker!

Yellow 47

yellow 47 said...

By the way are you available Ms. RED? you look hot!

Yellow 47 (dysfunctional white guy)

Lugosi said...

Yellow 47: As a fat American, I take offense to your comments. I'm going to do something about it... Just as soon as I finish this box of donuts.

Crabbie said...

I haven't been by in a couple weeks, so I'm just reading this now, but... damn. Those are the worst current rates I've heard of, you guys are getting completely fucked.

FWIW, ours are:

$2.50 flag drop
$1 each passenger after the 1st
$30/hour waiting time

...and I'm guessing that gas is cheaper here too.

$15 an hour? What the fuck?