Robert Samuels of the Washington Post wrote a great article on what some late night passengers at Union Station have to go through just to get a ride home. Mr. Samuels did his home work and wrote a well articulated piece about the problem, unlike his colleague Petula "all you can eat" Dvorak's poor yapping.
I drive at night and from time to time I work at Union Station when it is busy. What I witness at the station when ever there is a big line is really embarrassing, drivers speeding off when they learn the first person in line is a black guy, refusing to drive a passenger to a place they don't like, cherry picking their pickups and so on and so on. I have been a night driver for years and this problem is nothing new, but one should ask why do these problems happen mostly at night? Two things: 1- Half of the cab fleet during the night are illegal drivers, which means they are not licensed to drive a cab in the District of Columbia. They have nothing to protect if they get caught breaking the law, they get a $250 ticket and they wipe their asses with it and come back to hustle the next night. There should be a much stiffer punishment, like hard labor in Siberia or something! 2- The so called hack-inspectors are fighting the wrong war, instead of really investigating if the presented hack license is legitimate when a cab driver is pulled over, they check if a manifest is filled up, if our socks match, if we are wearing our seat belts and some other bull-shit laws that really don't help and protect the riding public.
The fix of this particular dilemma is simple, have couple of hack-inspectors at the taxi-line, problem solved! Don't tell me that the District of Columbia don't have a few thousand dollars to pay couple of guys to be on duty at the station when ever it is busy. But at the same time hack-inspectors need some more training to do, they need to understand that we the drivers are not the enemy but unfortunately that's how they look at us. Instead of being a team and work on addressing all the issues we encounter, we're playing the cat and mouse game.
For those ass-hole cherry-picking fellow cabbies who are throwing their passengers under the bus when they are in need, I got a message for you, fuck you all. Cab drivers, we are in the business of picking up strangers and drive them where ever shit hole they want to go. When you are in the business of picking strangers at night there is always that chance of dangerous encounter, we knew that when we decided to choose this pathetic career path. Get with program guys, like they say, if it is too hot, get the fuck out of the kitchen......
"Excuse me Mad, you're trying to be a hero you retard! Some thug is going to smoke your ass one of these days if you keep picking up every creep you see on the streets!"
Big deal, I have bunch of under-pants with skid marks that I kept as souvenirs each time I was robbed! Stop worrying man, just live every day as if it's your last day.
Please don't forget the homeless,