Shannon’s Corner

My Conversation on Social Media

In the City — Is the Fare Fair?

Washington DC taxi cabs seem to be charging increased fares not so much based on the new meter but rather personal discretion. 

A few months ago, taxis went from zones to metered fares.  I ride the same route a minimum of four times each week.  I followed the meter vs. zones debate and like others, expected good things.  Of the many expected positive outcomes, Andrew Sullivan’s The Daily Dish wrote that he expected to “rarely have trouble finding a cab” and I agree that is an accurate assessment.  I don’t have trouble finding a cab…I have trouble finding a good one.

For the record, I absolutely don’t mind squaring things up for taxi drivers.  If they should earn a larger fare for a particular route then by all means, I will and should pay the increase.  However, what I have noticed instead is that a taxi ride pre-meter used to be simple exchange of goods and service.  By that I mean that I would sit, they drive, and I pay (of which I knew the cost before I got in the car). Now, times are different.  I must remain vigilant, alert and engage not only with the driver but also the traffic around us.  Many taxis (not all) have suddenly “misunderstood” my address which, if you’re not paying attention, translates to several additional blocks worth of driving that you have to pay for.  I’ve also had drivers during rush hour take routes that in the days of pre-meter, they would have never dreamed of taking.  I’ve had taxis drive well under the speed limit on both local streets and the Rock Creek Parkway who suddenly don’t know their way or have a map handy. I’ve even had drivers that claim not have $5 to give back to me when I pay with a $20 bill.  To me that seems about as far-fetched as you coming to my office, asking for a memo and having me tell you that I have no computer. Isn’t there something off here?

Now since I have had at least two or three drivers do a stellar job of navigating the city streets, I know the real cost of my ride. (to those of you who are curious, it is about $2 more than the “old” days pre-meter)  They have been excellent in their responsibilities.  So here’s my problem…the really good taxis drive the appropriate route and therefore make less than the other taxis out there clearly making decisions that alter the fare.  Maybe things will change and level off but how do we make things fair for me and the good taxis out there?  Any thoughts? What’s fair?


July 11, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. I just rode a cab home from the City Museum. Fare was $9.75. My driver took a direct route. I’m a frequent cab rider and think the meters are a good thing. Though one time I swear my driver was driving slow and trying to get caught at every stoplight. I think giving directions is important (though I suppose I shouldn’t have to). When I ride I look for drivers that have their windows up (that means the A/C is on) and drive newer cabs. Overall, I strongly prefer riding in a cab to driving AND parking in DC.

    Comment by majorman | July 12, 2008 | Reply

  2. […] Lucky DC While reading a blog created by a classmate called Shannon’s Corner, I became further familiar with the debate about DC getting metered cabs. It seems that others are […]

    Pingback by Lucky, Lucky DC « Everyonelovesavegangirl’s Weblog | July 13, 2008 | Reply

  3. […] recent experiences with DC taxicab drivers after the change from zones to meters in a post titled In the City – Is the Fare Fair? For those not familiar with DC, this is a story of the little guy finally sticking it to the man.  […]

    Pingback by Heres a TIP on DC taxicabs « Mknac’s Weblog | July 22, 2008 | Reply

  4. […] July 26, 2008 I just became aware of the whole DC taxicab discussion thread initated by Shannon’s Corner and followed by a comment by Majorman and posts in Everyonelovesavegangirl and Mknac’s […]

    Pingback by Taxicab Tricks International « Tatyana’s Weblog | July 27, 2008 | Reply

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