Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Hello Mr. Mad Cabbie,
First off, just discovered the blog, great stuff, really interesting.

Given your profession, I'm wondering if you can answer me a question. Every weekend I wait tables in Adams Morgan. Every weekend I take a cab home. Almost every weekend I have to argue with the cabbie about the price. I've heard the cost is x from the nicer cabbies but I'd like to know once and for all from someone in the know and objective to the situation. I never seem to have this problem when I work on Wed PM and it's the exact same route. Given Adams Morgan on the weekends, maybe they think I'm some dumb drunk girl and whatnot, but as I'm sure you know, after a night of working, the last thing you want to do is argue, you just want to go home. There have been nights when I've gotten into the cab and when I give him the address he says "12.00". I say "ok see ya" and get out. One night, I did this no less than 3 times. You can see how this can get old.

The route is 18th/Belmont, NW area to 1st and North Carolina Avenue, SE (at the corner). My understanding is that D st, SE, the next street over from NC Ave, is the zone line so the trip is 8.80 (well 9.80 with the gas surcharge). Is this correct?

Thanks so much in advance and keep up the good writing! What your doing is really unique to the rest of the blahblahblah that's out there for DC blogs.

Ms E from Capitol Hill

Hi Ms E, I am sorry you have to deal with those clowns. Your fare should be two zones which is $9.80 including the gas surcharge, as long as you are within the boundary of E street to the south and 2nd street to the east (make sure you get off north of E street). Thats how you should explain your driver who supposed to know this anyways. But you have to understand that half of the cabbies you see in Adams Morgan especially during weekends and last call rush hours are illegal out of state drivers with phony licenses out there to make a quick buck by ripping off people and most of them don't know the zone system.

You should never get out of the cab but instead warn the driver that you will call the police and demand that the driver shows you his taxi license. There is no reason to be a dishonest cab driver in DC, we can make a good living without stealing from people who work very hard like yourself. Again I feel your pain and sorry that you have to deal with this crap but at the same time you have the responsibility to fight back by calling the law enforcement.

Better luck next time and thank you for reading my blog.

Mad Cabbie.

I get questions like this every now and then, so if you have any cab related questions that I can help you out with please email me at and if I think it can be helpful to others I will post them with my answers without revealing your name and your email.

Please don't forget the homeless.

Mad Cabbie.


Anonymous said...

I make almost the same kind of trip but 90% of time drivers charge me the correct fare and I take care of my cabbies real good since I depend on tips myself...the rest, when I show them the copy of a highlighted zone map I carry with my zone boundary, they get surprised and I pay the exact fare with no tip!

Thanks for the pointer Mad.


Roy, Dublin Taxi Driver said...

I get these e-mails too, but could never answer in such detail as heavy traffic can add euros to the fare, did she call or hail it (extra €2 if called) we have day/night and weekend tarrifs as well!

Anonymous said...

Fantastic! This will be a great community service Mad Cabbie. I hope you're going to post more of this and I will email you a question I was dying to ask you for quite some time.

Thank you for putting together a great blog.


Dinosaur Mom said...

I agree with the first commenter, but on the rare occasions that I've run into the situation Ms. E described, I've found that simply saying, "Are you serious? We only traveled X zones!" usually compels a quick price correction.

june in florida said...

It was simple when i drove, meter you could put on time or distance, flat rate for out of town(distance) jobs.Very uncool to put the meter on time if it was regular customer, but someone who insisted on going the shorter way in traffic, time all the way.

DC Cab Rider said...

Mad, that's good advice to a point. Especially for you strong strapping guys. But for women, it can be scary to do something like refuse to get out of a cab. I don't like the idea of getting into the position of being some guy's hostage when he can drive off at any time - to anywhere.

Anonymous said...

Great service Mad Cabbie. Maybe not the most "driver friendly" approach, but when I know, dead to rights my exact fare (like work to home), I get in, tell them where I'm going, and when I get there pay my fare and tip and just get out of the cab. When you know you are right (as Ms. E now does) I've never had a driver argue with me because they know it won't fly.

Lugosi said...

I resent your snide remark about "illegal out of state drivers with phony licenses out there to make a quick buck by ripping off people."
I'll have you know that I have NEVER bothered to get a phony license.

Anonymous said...

@ Roy, Dublin Taxi Driver:

We have a zone system in DC that doesn't take traffic into account. The writer I'm sure hailed the cab -- there'd be no reason to call a cab in Adams Morgan, they're lined up everywhere. I don't think there's a surcharge for calling anyway in DC, is there Mad Cabbie?

blue eyes said...

Usually the local black american cab drivers like mad cabbie are honest because they were trained by the white man for years (Yassaaa!). The problem is with those imported niggaaz, they try to trip me all the time.

Mad, you're a good nigga like Obama! your blog is dope and I will hook you up with a box of KFC.

Mad Cabbie said...

I think the last comment was by Lou Doobs from CNN he also goes by his cover name "Blue Eyes"

Dennis! said...

One time I caught a cab to my friend's house in Friendship Heights, literally JUST SOUTH of the Maryland border. I told the driver the address, and he insisted that on River Road, that number is in Maryland. Having been to this house numerous times, I tried to assure him that it was, in fact, still in the District. He didn't listen, and before I knew it, I saw the "Welcome to Maryland" sign.

"We're too far," I told him. The place is in the District." He still wouldn't list. I had to call my friend and make her tell me -- AGAIN -- that she knows her own address, and that her mailing address is River Road, NW, Washington DC.

When we finally found the place, I'm reasonably sure the driver charged me for the privilege of having driven me into Maryland, only to have to come back out again.