Will Zones Die So Easy?

dc_taxi.gif Will the Taxi Zones really die so easily? I’m not sure they will. I can see a potential taxi-strike, or maybe some sort of peculiar form of passive protest? Then again, how would you know if your cab driver was being a jerk to you because of the meters he’s had to take over, or because he’s a nutjob with a crappy-ass cab?

It’s really going to be hard to tell if they take up the passive protest route. I suppose a court challenge isn’t out of the realm of possibilities, but I look forward to seeing what’s next. Mayor Fenty has said “he has no idea how much the transition will cost or what the timetable will be,” according to the Washington Post, which is a bit of a bummer. I was hoping to see a drop-dead date today for the changeover, but I suspect now they’ll have to standardize the fare rates, not to mention settle on a meter platform, and get them installed in taxis. So, I think the death of the taxi zone is probably still at least 9 months off, and probably closer to a year given the District’s proclivity toward taking a good amount of time to do anything.

Now, if we could just make cabbies sit for The Knowledge in DC…

6 Comments so far

  1. Mike Licht (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 2:17 pm

    No taxi strikes in DC. While most of the 7500 cabbies are so-called independent contractors, most don’t own their cabs but rent them by the week day or month from the real cab companies. That’s how cab fleet owners avoid paying benefits. Welcome to the world of the working poor. There are more licensed cabbies than licensed cabs and no possibility of a cab drivers union, so no strike.


  2. Tiff (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 4:05 pm

    What are you talking about? We had a (short) taxi strike just three years ago: http://dc.metblogs.com/archives/2004/11/now_heres_an_ea.phtml

    There were still cabs on the streets for the reasons you cite, but very few.


  3. Wayan (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 4:28 pm

    I say its going to be at least five years before we see metered taxis. It will take the Taxi Cab Commission a least a year to agree on a platform, two for a rate system, and three to get cheap-ass DC drivers to buy and install the meters.

    On the other hand, it will only take a decade for taxi drivers to stop moaning the loss in zone gouging opportunities.


  4. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 4:32 pm

    I tried the find that very link earlier, and failed. It has been done before, and while I remember the previous one being a total failure.

    Not entirely surprising.


  5. Mike Licht (unregistered) on October 18th, 2007 @ 12:34 pm

    Thanks – I forgot about that. It kept owner-drivers home, and they are a minority. A cab strike would have even less impact now – there are more licensed cab drivers in rental cabs and the experience of the strike-in-name-only three years ago has brought the realization that labor solidarity here is nonexistent – people will still want cabs.


  6. poo poo (unregistered) on October 22nd, 2007 @ 1:12 pm

    NY cabs moving to zones?
    Yes.
    Check it out…

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071022/ap_on_re_us/taxi_strike

    "Although passengers could still easily find cabs, payment was unusually complicated. Under rules put in place just for the strike, the city required working yellow cabs to pick up multiple passengers, and charge fares on a zone-based system."



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