Before getting to the substance of today’s post, I must confess a bias: I don’t like D.C.’s taxi cab system. Compared with the taxis of London (where the cars share a uniform look, are meticulously clean, and are driven by knowledgeable, attentive drivers), D.C.’s cabs serve as poor ambassadors of our Capital. Compared with New York's metered fare system, D.C.'s zone system can make for expensive travel. That many drivers speak on their cell phones during the entirety of rides is understandable (I can imagine it gets boring sitting behind the wheel all day) but not very professional. Finally, I have no idea what to make of the numerous cab companies trolling our streets: U.C.C. Cab, Grand Cab, Pan Am Cab, Anacostia Cab, Freedom Cab, Red Top Cab, Silver Cab, and Consolidated Cab are just a few of the many companies (it seems they all call themselves “associations” rather than companies) I witnessed on my walk to work today.
All that said, on Friday night I was refused service from in front of Whole Foods to my home in Shaw (roughly a six block venture; also known as easy money for the cabbie who picks me up). This is not the first time I’ve been refused service back to my home, and the M.O. of the cabbie was similar to prior experiences: cabbie pulls over to my hailing self, with the doors locked and window down cabbie asks where I am going, I tell cabbie the cross streets, and cabbie says no and pulls away. On Friday, I yelled about the impropriety of him refusing me service, yet he whisked away unpersuaded.
I jotted down the cab company on his rear passenger door (Silver Cab) and the cab number (I’ll withhold pending my complaint’s resolution). I looked online today for instructions on how to file a complaint with the D.C. Taxicab Commission (available here) and am going to submit a complaint in writing. I’ll let you know if I have any success. Perhaps if we are more diligent about reporting these incidents, cabbies will be less inclined to refuse service.
After being refused service, another cab picked me up and happily took me home. He was incredibly nice, engaged me in conversation, and told me to report the guy who’d refused service.
I had a great weekend and hope you did too. Happy Monday!