Tuesday, July 01, 2008


Washington DC cabs are one of the most technologically advanced taxis in the world because we have meters now! and you know what? the meter keeps clicking while calculating the distance traveled! What a cool revolutionary concept! I kept staring at my new meter like a mental patient while driving, I think I ran some biker dude off the road at one point.

Let me share some bean counting I did for the past few days with my new meter. I did all kosher boring rides from the streets and from dispatchers (no hooker delivery) so the figures are as accurate as possible. I averaged about $212.75 a night with the meter, these same rides would have paid me $251.80 with the old zone system! In some runs you make a little bit more, but we are loosing money on the majority of the fares. I am for the meters but with these rates I think we are getting fucked. So all of you DC cabbies, before you come out to work, make sure you grease up your ass real good because it's going to hurt. A loss of about 15% of income while your gasoline bill sky-rockets hurts real bad.

"Mad! you big idiot! Why the fuck are you complaining? You are making $200+ a night, that's some good cash! Most people don't make that kind of bread!"

Listen motherfucker, out of the that $212.75 how about subtracting for gasoline, insurance, repairs and maintenances, taxi-wash, dispatch fee and the massage I get on New York avenue from that Vietnamese chic with six fingers! yes motherfucker SIX FINGERS! I am getting all my money's worth from that rub-down. By the end of the day I am taking like $2 home and those child laborers in Bangladesh probably make more than I do!

Please don't forget the homeless,

Mad Cabbie.


kob said...

Mad Cabbie,
Times are tough all around. I may be sympathetic only if you can convince me that the rates paid in DC are at the low end of of what riders in other cities are charged. Pick your cities. I pulled three random ones and the info comes from official government sites.


First 1/6 mile $3
Each additional 1/6 mile .25 cents
[Doesn't DC have $1 fuel surcharge>]

Las Vegas:

Drop for initial activation of taximeter: $3.30
Each additoinal 1/11th mile .20 cents

Meter Rates:

* $1.75 for the first 1/8th mile or less
* $0.30 for each additional 1/8th of a mile


Metered Rate of Fare
The meter is required to be engaged or "hired" when a taxicab is occupied by anyone in addition to the driver
Standard City Rate (Rate Code 1)
$2.50 upon entry
$0.40 for each additional unit
The unit fare is:
one-fifth of a mile, when the taxicab is traveling at 6 miles an hour or more; or
60 seconds when not in motion or traveling at less than 12 miles per hour.
The taximeter shall combine fractional measures of distance and time in accruing a unit of fare. Any combination of distance or time shall be computed by the taximeter in accordance with the National Bureau of Standards.
The fare shall include pre-assessment of the unit currently being accrued; the amount due may therefore include a full unit charge for a final, fractional unit.
Night surcharge of $.50 after 8:00 PM & before 6:00 AM
Peak hour Weekday Surcharge of $1.00 Monday - Friday after 4:00 PM & before 8:00 PM

lizzie said...

i don't usually take DC cabs that often, but i take arlington cabs whenever i have to work late in the city (rather than walk home from the metro at 11:00 at night...yes, i know arlington's safe). and the gas surcharge the county recently approved is ridiculous. $1. really, just $1. recently, i asked a cabbie about that and he was like, 'i spend $65 on gas a day. $1 a ride doesn't make much of a difference.'

so mad, i feel for ya. i understand you've got other expenses that some riders don't think about. ummm...maybe you should cut back on the massages tho. :)

Anonymous said...


I think Mad has every right to be angry, because with those rates that you put up, a 4 mile ride in DC, which is about an average ride will cost:

10.00 dollars in DC (including gas surcharge)

12.10 dollars in LA

11.35 dollars in Boston

10.50 dollars during non peak hours,
11.50 dollars during peak hours,
11.00 dollars night hrs NEW YORK.

12:00 dollars plus gas surcharge in neighboring Montgomery County.

And prior to April 1, according to the Zone system it would have cost about 12 dollars plus gas surcharge which is similar to the Montgomery county fare.

And what we have to know is that people have bought houses and were raising families depending on this income.

The closest thing to a government cutting income's of buisnesses that I have seen happen to this is in a Socialist country where I grew up and I hate to see the US go this way.

Lugosi said...

Good to see you back. I'll look forward to your next post.... In August.

kob said...

Anon -- Great analysis. Thanks.

m.e. said...

i've noticed cab fares are way cheaper to and from the places i usually go: home from whole foods when i have a lot to carry, and to work when i'm late. but i've also noticed that the meter keeps on counting even when the driver has to go slow or is stuck in traffic. so....i've been getting a lot of SLOW rides lately. no shortcuts. a ride to work on the zone system used to cost about $11 during rush hour. the other day, the meter charged me $6 for that ride. i used to give the driver a $20 and ask for $5 back. now when I give the driver a $20 and ask for $5 back for that ride, I get lots of thank-yous!! -- the driver gets $6 for his meter and $9 for his piggy bank. (yeah, i know....i have a piggy bank like that, too...eats like a hog but can't keep anything down.) they should triple the gas surcharge to (a measly) $3.

hang in there, uncle mad!

peggy's mom

roy said...

whoever negotiated the new fare structure on behalf of the Taxi business should be sacked, it was an opportunity for a pay rise, and only right, inflation and all that!

Anonymous said...


The Mayor didn't even talk to the taxi buisnesses before setting this fare, he did it all by himself. When a few Cabbies wanted to him, her refused to see them. The only people that he listened to was a group of lobbists who petitioned for a reasonable taxi fare in DC. Here is a link to their website:


What is sad is the Taxi Cab drivers are independent owners who are mostly immigrants that have come from previously Socialist Countries so they accept this as their fate because governments have been pushing them around for most of their lives, to top it all they are not even organized. In the mean time I would like to tell you that the Mayor was in support of rate increase by the Metro.

Anonymous said...

And Roy,

One thing I forgot, there is a 19.00 dollar limit on what a DC cabbie can make within the city limits, if the Cabbie reaches the 19.00 dollar limit on the meter while driving a customer to his destination, tough luck the rest of the drive has to be FREE SERVICE.

Anonymous said...

And Roy,

One thing I forgot, there is a 19.00 dollar limit on what a DC cabbie can make within the city limits, if the Cabbie reaches the 19.00 dollar limit on the meter while driving a customer to his destination, tough luck the rest of the drive has to be FREE SERVICE.

Philip said...

Ya' diddun' b'lee me when I told you that these meters performed vigourous fellatio on the male members of expired donkeys, didja', there Madster?

It is very easy to reach the nineteen dollar maximum, especially in rush hour. I have had more than one driver take a job from Anacostia (Anacostia Proper, mind you, off MLK Ave) to GW Hospital and have the meter max out on Constitution Avenue at Seventeenth. Just think if he had to go from Bellvue, Congress Heights or Congress Park to Sibley. If the meter maxes out somewhere on Ohio Drive or near the Kennedy Centre, he drives the eight or so kilometres without compensation.

Being forced to work without compensation is not a bad definition of slavery. Where I come from, that has been illegal since 1781.

Dear Revered Leader Kim il-Fenty, of the Demokratik Socialist People's Republik of New Kolumbia insists that the maximum allows lower income people to use cabs. He is forcing us to subsidise certain classes of customers. Is that not Welfare? Is not Welfare the Gubbamint's job? Do I not pay my taxes to the Demokratik People's Republik of New Kolumbia so that it can provide Welfare to those who are supposed to get it (supposed to according to the Politburo, that is--and yes, I am a District Resident)?

The meter advocates said that the meter allows the passenger to pay for the use of the vehicle. Allright, if you are going to use time and distance meters, then let the passenger pay. If the gubbamint wants to have the ride of certain groups subsidised, it can issue the members of those groups coupons, much like the Senior Citizens receive. It can then accept those coupons as payment for taxes, fees, summonses and provide an easy way to have the coupons cashed (not like the mismanagement of those DHR Vouchers; by the time you get one of those cashed, you have made three trips to the office and have received two fifty dollar parking summonses).

Then there is the matter of excessive fines. High flagging brings you a one-thousand dollar fine, here. In New York it is one-hundred dollars, in Los Angeles, one-hundred fifty. The next closest city is Philadelpia, where it is three-hundred-fifty. In Denver, it is two-hundred-fifty (as it is in all of Colorado--for some reason the State gets involved in Taxicab regulation there) Run over a nail in the District of Columbia and be unaware of it and you get a one-thousand dollar fine. In Los Angeles, you must have TWO tyres deflated and that gets you a one-hundred fifty dollar fine for the first three offences (LA has a graduated system of cab penalties)

Add to that the gubbamint's forcing us to compete with unlicenced drivers and you can see how the whole thing does an extremely vigourous Hoover manouevre on heavily soiled undergarments..........

Anonymous said...

First of all, the DC taxis SUCK. They are in the worst shape of taxis in many an east coast city. I take them all the time from Watergate to Union Station. No driver can apparently utter a coherent word, let alone a nice word. There is no interest for the driver to add some upholstery to the wornout backseats, so one sinks deep into the many potholes of the road. Need I go on? They behave as if we are lucky to have a cab. And then try to pick a cab up at Union Station - try to figure out the "logic" of the system, depending on who paid off someone to get the concession. The problem isn't the rate, it is the shame of any lack of legislation for the nations capital. Just ask any cab driver and they'll tell you how corrupt it is to get the medallion and license. That's the problem, not the costs. Give me a decent cab, I'll PAY for it.

Anonymous said...

With all the costs of operating a
taxi, it's a wonder how cabbies
can make a living. I don't know
how it is in DC, but it's not too
good here in Chicago.

Anonymous said...

The price of gas has dropped slightly here in the Midwest.
"Very slightly"!!! I'm sure it has
elsewhere as well. Have no fear,
they won't stay "down"!!!!

Anonymous said...

If they would come up with an affordable alternative, that would
be ""Great""!

Anonymous said...

Sara Palin naked and drunk staggering, then getting/ falling
into a cab. What are the odds of
that ever happening???

Anonymous said...

Can someone buy that woman a drink?
Yeah, I think I might. get her good
and drunk, and the rest is history.
A night of fun fun fun........

Anonymous said...

More bailouts' trillion $ debt =
higher taxes, what's one to do???

Anonymous said...

The Hoover Manuver she did on him.

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