Sunday, May 11, 2008


Phil used to be my boss at Diamond Cab Co. but he is not with us anymore. Few months ago one of the owners decided to get rid of all the whitties for some reason I can not explain, maybe Phil in his own words will tell us about it!

Phil is a proud Bostonian who lived in Washington DC for a long time and some of you Diamond riders probably are familiar with his voice over the cab radio with his thick Boston accent. Even though Phil and I had our share of yelling matches before, I still believe he is one of the best dispatchers in town. Very political, opinionated and educated, he made the cab driving experience more interesting to drivers like me who had to listen to his editorials and bullshit over the two way radio for years. Unfortunately he works for another cab company and still hacks part time and he is really missed around here. Here is some very interesting comment he posted on my blog in his own words.

"To-day was the telling day for the meters. THEY SUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Reports from their cohorts and supporters that the Hack Inspectors were not writing that many warnings and were concentrating on hotel stands, caused the illegals to trickle back onto the streets beginning Monday. By Wednesday, they were back at full strength. Once more the swarms of cab driven by unlicensed drivers could be found on the Hill, in Georgetown, on Pennsylvania Avenue and at Eighteenth and Columbia. So lax have the authorities been, that the illegals were once more over parking the Grand Hyatt Stand to the point that they were double parking on Eleventh Street.

So it is back to business as usual: swarms of unlicensed cab drivers taking away customers from those of us who go through the bother and expense of keeping a hacking face; swarms of unlicensed cab drivers, unmolested by the Authorities, as they cheat and mistreat the public.

My bottom line was about twenty-seven dollars less after working my usual six hours to-day. Everywhere that I went I noticed the illegals out in force.

There are five things in this business that are currently inflicting the most harm on us:

1. The alacrity with which the Authorities police legitimate cab drivers.

2. The zeal with which they police legitimate cab drivers.

3. The proportionally equal refusal of the Authorities to protect legitimate cab drivers. This refusal is manifested by (among other things) the Authorities' toleration of the unlicensed drivers in City cabs as well as their toleration of the Virginia and Maryland cabs' working in the City.

4. The price of gasoline.

5. Excessive fines for hack violations.

I can not pay the excessive fees that the Commission currently charges, nor can I pay the excessive fines if I can not pick up customers. I can not pick up customers because the illegals and the suburban cabs are taking them away. The Authorities seem to have no problem with that. They will not run the illegals off the streets nor will they stop Maryland and Virginia cabs from working in the City.

Every time that I mention this to anyone in authority, I get a song and a dance about how they can not do this, or can not do that and how these illegals and suburban cab drivers have this right and that right. Conversely, it appears that as a legitimate and licensed driver, I have no rights. The thug who is going to take my money and/or blow off my head has more rights than I do.

It will never cease to amaze me how little the Authorities can do to those who make every effort to break the law in the most blatant fashion and how much they can do to me, someone who makes every effort to follow the law.

People tend to take the law into their own hands when it ceases to protect them. This, I suspect is the reason that somebody out there has been running around ramming into suburban cabs. If this nonsense from the D.C. Gubbamint keeps up, another legitimate driver is going to take the law into his own hands and someone is going to get hurt. Just because I am an old man and can not do much about this, does not mean that someone else will not try it. If road rage over someone's running a STOP sign at Georgetown Hospital caused a Yellow Cab driver to pull out a gun................... "

Comment by Phil!

By the way Phil, how did you con that hottie wife of yours to marry you bro?

Please don't forget the homeless,

Mad Cabbie.


Philip said...

Those [i] ain't quite [/i] my own words, there, MC. Either you or your spell checker Americanised my British spellings (picked up when I lived in Canada as a young man--funny thing about that, I lived in French Canada, but picked up British spellings of English).

Anyhow, enough of the cavilry. I will post something of more substance when I have more time to do it. I must go to pick up that 'hottie' wife of mine from the 1400-2200 shift on the switchboard in a few, but I did have to let you know that I saw your latest entry.

I am due on the microphone at Schaeffer at 0800 to-morrow, so it might be a bit before I get back to this.

When did we ever have yelling matches? Maybe a disagreement here or there, but it had to have been so minor that I certainly can not recall anything now.

Anyhow, more on-topic next time.

Phils-Hottie1 said...

Good Evening Mad Cabbie,
Philip's HOTTIE Here :o)

Thank you for your kind words about Philip (and me..LOL)

I say, "He belongs at Diamond Cab and not the "other place".

You need not worry my friend, time has a funny way of working things out.

I'm working tomorrow, Mon. May 12, from 2pm-10pm, stop by, if you find the time, and have a Cig' with me. :o)

Until then, Aloha

Anonymous said...

"Worry about now"! Hahaha, dont tell me the niggas got smart and are doing the unlicensed. Tell me something do u know how they do it in B-more?

Anonymous said...

How can a passenger tell before boarding whether a cab is "licensed"?

Philip said...

In District of Columbia cabs, rarely is the problem an unlicenced vehicle. In most cases, the vehicle is legitimate (although it may carry a bought inspection sticker), it is the driver who "ain't".

When you get into a taxicab, the driver should have his hack licence, commonly called a 'face', displayed on the right sun visor. If you do not see the face there, ask the driver to let you see it. Keep in mind that he does not have to put it into your hands, but he must let you read it and look at the photograph. If he will not show you the 'face' or let you examine it to your satisfaction, GET OUT.

Make sure that the guy in the picture is the guy (or girl) drving, not the cousin, brother-in-law or uncle of the guy in the photograph. Do not listen to any stories about how he lost it and has reported it, he left it at home, his small child threw it into the toilet and the like. Remember, you tried similar arguments in the third grade when you did not have your homework to hand in. You knew that the stories were BS then, and guess what? Yup, they are STILL BS.

What? You say that you do not have time for this, you just want to get to work, to your meeting, to the station or home, correct? Other than being overcharged, having the driver get lost or your being stuck in a car that has not had a bath in three weeks (nor has the driver), consider this. Everyone knows that certain drivers are always yakking on their wireless telephones instead of paying attention to the road. This leads to collisions. Let us suppose that your wireless yakking driver runs a red light and the cab gets broadsided and you suffer injury. There will, of course be a police report that your attorney from GREEDberg and BUILDUPman will want sent to the insurance company that insures the cab. This report will clearly show that the driver of the cab was at fault.

The insurance company looks at who was driving and see that Mr. X was supposed to be driving it. But, the police report says that Mr. Y was driving it. The insurance company calls the cab company; the cab company doesn't know anything about Mr. Y. The insurance company calls the Taxicab Commission and finds out that Mr. Y has no hack Face. Yup, you guessed what comes next. Unauthorised/unlicenced driver, no coverage and even in the District of Columbia, no court will make the cab's insurance company cover your injuries. Yup, you are STUCK.

On the other hand, you are riding in my cab. Some arrogant jerkwad in a SAAB ('SAAB' is Swedish for Stupid Arrogant Asinine Buttwipe) turns left in front of me. I broadside that overpriced imported tin box, but my car goes into a spin and you are thrown from the car and injured.

Officer Green is sent to investigate. Of course, since I am the cab driver, Officer Green faults me and issues me a summons. While I am successful in fighting the summons, that does not matter to the jury, which exercises its right of nullification, and awards you damages. My insurance company will pay. I am a licenced and authorised cab driver. Mr. Y was (and still is) not.

THAT is why you want to make sure that your driver has a hack licence. That is also why the Authorities' tolerance of unlicenced cab drivers presents a hazard to the riding public in the District of Columbia. They are tolerating what is tantamount to thousands of uninsured motorists regullarly driving on the streets of the District of Columbia.

John said...

I feel your pain Mad.
We die the death of 1,000 knife cuts while the hustlers get off scot free.

Perhaps you should tell Fox or whoever to read your blog.
We have the problem of 1 cab licenced to 1 guy being driven by 6 or 7 guys,many of them apart from not knowing the city, or having a licence don't even speak English.
While we are getting tickets for stopping on double yellow lines.

Philip said...

Six or seven guys driving one cab, while only one guy has a licence is, indeed, a part of the problem. The car is run around the clock. Tesfaye, who has the licence, drives it for a few hours, then goes to relieve Cousin Habtemariam at the gas station. Cousin Habtemariam, who has no licence, drives it for a few hours, then goes to pick up Tesfaye's brother in law, Haile, at school. Haile has no licence, either. Haile drops Cousin Habtemariam at home then drives for a few hours before picking up Uncle Ferewhot from the parking lot. Guess what? If you said 'Uncle Ferewhot does not have a licence, either', you win a prize! Anyhow, Uncle Ferewhot drops Haile at School, then he drives for a few hours until it is time to pick up Tesfaye, and begin the cycle again.

In some cases, you have these companies painting in illegals as private owners, as well. Some of those cabs also go around the clock, and there is not one licenced driver on them.

These illegals are earning big money. I suspect that the guy who lives across the street from me is unlicenced. If these illegals are doing so well that they can afford to buy houses in the District of Columbia, while most legitimate drivers can not afford to rent here, SOMETHING IS WRONG.

cleetus said...

Yo cabbie, what happened to Tewdros? You whip him into shape?

John said...

Yes we can see it going on and the cops can't see ti.
Just like the drug dealer who turns up at the same time every day at the same place. They never see him.
You stop at a bus stop once e40 fine.
Then there is the fact that a drug dealer takes a bit more paper work.