Since I Was at Union Station, I Gotta Ask –

IMG_2261, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

Why are the lines for the taxis so ridiculously long?

14 Comment

  • The long taxi lines let visitors know immediately the sort of inexplicable hassles and headaches that D.C. has in store for them.

  • It must have something to do with the taxis having operating zones (they do, right?)

  • They also help grind down the tourists’ expectations, and finally their resistance to $7 hot dogs at the Smithsonian cafeterias.

  • Because they’re full of tourists who don’t know that if you walk one block over to North Capitol, you can get a cab almost immediately?

  • Because lots of people can fit into one train, but not into one cab. A similar phenomenon happens at the airport because lots of people can fit into one plane, but not one cab. Next!

  • @Anon Or walk the three blocks to the many hotels on New Jersey and catch a cab there.

  • what noah said. the line moves fast. but they all get there at the same time….

  • It is the worst on holiday weekends, it gets insanely long. Part of the problem is the system. They have these two guys working there who inevitably make things much worse. They refuse to let anyone hop in a cab without going through them, and they will only load two cabs at a time. The smart thing to do would be have two loading areas, one going to MD / VA, one to D.C. And also to do more to encourage sharing of cabs, which could be more profitable for cab drivers and more efficient for passengers. Very aggravating how stupid the system is.

    What I do to circumvent the situation (beyond walking a few blocks, which can be a pain with heavy parcels and you don’t always find a cab depending on the timing) is towards the end of my train ride, walk to the front of the train, then bolt out of there and basically sprint to the cab area, beating the rest of the crowd from at least my train. Unless a train has just arrived before mine, I rarely have much of a wait.

  • It was so bad Monday night, my wife and I CHOSE to ride the red line!

  • It’s because DC has too many cabs! At least that’s what my councilman said.

  • New2CH is right. It’s a horrible system once you finally do get to the front of the line. Those guys have no idea what they’re doing. I find, however, if you walk to the beginning of the driveway, on Mass by the Thurgood Marshall building, you can almost always grab a driver who would rather get a quick fare than wait in that line himself. You don’t have to walk three blocks to New Jersey. Just skip the line.

    It’s the same thing with traffic cops. We have lights, we have signs. Traffic cops only serve to add to congestion. Ever try driving down 16th on a Sunday? Half the damn churches have off duty cops fucking up traffic when church lets out. It’s a nightmare.

  • You should see the lines when lobbyists come to town. As someone who lives by Union Station, for the life of me, I can’t figure out why the station management doesn’t provide crowd pleasers to manage the taxi queue. Inevitably, the line ends up either extending into the station, or people for some reason drift to the center of the portico, blocking foot traffic.

  • The length of a line (or queue) seems like it would be directly proportional to the number of people willing to stand in one.

    That and the coincidence of MARC/Amtrak train arrivals, rain, and/or taxi strikes.

  • I don’t get the cab problem in this city…There clearly are not enough cabs regardless of what the regulatory services say. I don’t know the equation to determine the proper ratio of cabs: people, but I can not believe that it takes into account the number of tourists or the bridge and tunnel crew who visit the city throughout the week.

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