62 Comment

  • I think, in a small way, the differences between Fenty and Gray are demonstrated here, in who benefits and who suffers with this small item.

    • Please tell me… What level of suffering will befall some people? Who are these sufferers?

      • There clearly is one side that is benefiting from this decision. Gray’s administration simply identifies more with those driving the taxis than with those riding in them. I’m not saying that its bad, just very different. Either way, look for this surcharge to stay in place long after July 25.

    • Who’s next in line for the “I bought special treatment from Mayor Berry – I mean Gray” parade?

  • The cab companies gave big time money to the Gray election effort. In adddition, the cab drivers gave free cab rides to the polls. Based on recent behavior from the Gray administration, I think that we can expect huge give aways to the cab industry, starting with appointments to the taxi commission. It’s too bad because most taxi drivers and taxi owners do not live in DC.

  • As luck would have it, I just approved a $1 deduction in the amount I tip.

    • If you’re going to be cheap/an asshole, just don’t take a cab. Walk, bike, bus, or metro. What a jerk.

      • The jerks are the cabs that are rude, racist, drive dangerously and still expect superfluous charges on the consumer in their benefit. Yeah yeah there are plenty who aren’t, but the fact that just entering a cab costs you $3 and you don’t have the option of paying by card shows just how coddled DC cabbies are.

      • The price of gas is a cost of doing business for just about everyone, not just cabbies. (Think UPS wouldn’t like to add a $1 surcharge to the cost of shipping a package?) If cabbies really were concerned with the price of gas, you wouldn’t see so many cabs with horrible fuel efficiency ratings.

        • UPS IS charging a fuel surcharge, as are most airlines.

          • UPS is a bad example, mea culpa. But am I entitled to a raise just because I’m spending more of my paycheck on fuel to get to and from work? Nope. I guess the deck is just perpetually stacked against the little guy.

          • 2b3s: Although I do think $1 is a steep surcharge (for reasons explained by other posters below), it’s not at all the same as you demanding extra money for your commute to and from work. It’s the same as your employer raising the prices you charge your /customers/ because one of the key pieces of overhead in your line of work has just spiked in price.

            Most businesses would definitely do that. (A la UPS.) There’s just a little more attention paid when it’s taxis, because they don’t get to set their own rates.

          • It’s exactly the same, Ans. In a capitalist economy, I’m selling my labor to my employer for an agreed up price. And, since the cost of delivering my labor to my employer has gone up due to an increase in gas prices, I should be able to charge my employer more for the same labor. At least I should be according to the DC taxicab surcharge approach.

        • Right, the little guy being the cab driver.

        • ah

          Who wants to cram into a Smart Car with 2 kids and luggage?

  • wow $4 a gallon gas and people see conspiracy theories?
    I recall fuel surcharges during the Fenty and Wiliams administrations.

    • I know, right! It seems like some people look for any little excuse to find fault with the current mayor.

      • Nah. We don’t have to look that hard.

        • double zing!

        • Find fault if you wish, but just to note, Fenty imposed the same $1 fuel surcharge when gas prices were at $3.13 (the charge ended up lasting over a year). Now, Gray has imposed a 4-month surcharge while gas prices are averaging $3.75. I don’t have a problem with people faulting Gray for this (perhaps fuel surcharges are bad policy, I don’t know), but I do question why someone would use this to suggest the current mayor is somehow worse than the former in this regard.

  • Call me crazy but I’d rather the cabs set their own prices. When you give a political body the opportunity to make decisions that will aide a certain bloc of politically connected individuals, don’t be surprised when they do so even at the expense of the broader public.

    • ah

      Yeah, that would work great. Hail a cab – I charge $5 a mile!. Get out, hail another one. I charge $4/mile. Next . . . and so on.

  • Apparently, that fuel surcharge disappears once that cab crosses into Maryland or Virginia.

    (yeah right)..

    I’m with 2b3s on this one.

  • The fuel surcharge is nothing more than a “gimmie”.

    Whats the average travel distance per fare in the District? 4-5 miles?

    Ok, how many fares does the average cab pick up in a day? 20? So the cab drives ~100 miles a day and now gets a $20 dollar subsidy, or 6 gallons of free gas.

    Even those busted jalopys that they drive get ~ 12-15 miles a gallon.

    So basically, these surcharges do nothing but take the full cost of fuel out of the cabs typical cost of operation. The cab is making more money now than he did when gas was 2 bucks a gallon, because he can now pass the full cost of his fuel onto the customer, rather than having to absorb it into the cost of his fares.

    As if I needed another reason not to take cabs in DC

    • Would it be better if it was $0.50? The cost of gas does seem to warrant a hike, but maybe not a full dollar…

  • Some of you might remember that the $1 surcharge has been put into place and removed several times over the Williams, Fenty, and now Gray administration. I dont like Vincent Gray either, but this knee-jerk blame Gray reaction for everything is getting old, especially when there is NOTHING concrete the man has done wrong, aside from Navi-gate. It just reeks of soreloserness. Ok, your guy and my guy lost, but Gray is our mayor now and it doesnt help anyone if you concentrate on bullshit instead of the concrete differences you may have with him. A $1 surcharge doesnt count. He could just raise fares across the board to compensate for rising fuel costs… would you be more happy with that?

    • Just because it was done before doesn’t make it right…

      I tell you, this town is ok with small crimes.

      • Oh stop. Charging more for a cab is not a crime. Do you think they should be free?

        • I think his point wasn’t that charging more money is a crime…but that easy giveaways/concessions to unions/lobbies who funded your campaign IS a crime. Or at the very least, traditional DC politics.

  • I think buses in this city run some really good routes. I like to implement the 5 minute rule before getting in a cab. I can usually get within blocks from condo when I just wait for the bus. Take the bus. I’m not a fan of the cabs either for some reason i get a different price whenever I leave and arrive at the same place. Some are honest but its one of those a few bad apples spoil the bunch mentality.

    • ah

      DC got rid of zones a couple of years ago. Unless every trip takes exactly the same amount of time, and goes along the same streets, you should expect some modest variations.

  • I wouldn’t mind the fuel surcharge so much if more cabbies actually cared about the condition of their cars and their personal hygiene.

    • Agreed! I think DC should try to lead (though at this case follow) the country and slowly phase in fuel efficiency standards for taxis. DC regularly has red-alert smog days in the summer and if we were to have hybrid/electric/clean diesel taxis that were made in the last 3-4 years it would help alleviate this problem.
      I will gladly pay a fuel surcharge if the cabs agree to buy more fuel efficient cars. If not then I refuse to subsidize an inefficient industry.

      • Gas prices are making taxis more fuel efficient. have you seen the number of prius cabs around now?

        • Not quite. The MSRP for a new Prius is around $25,000. Buying an old police cruiser in good condition costs $6,000. At $4 a gallon, the money saved will buy 4,750 gallons of gas.

          Hybrid cabs are banking on their green appeal to get a following among customers who phone for cabs. Anybody hailing a cab is going to take the next one that stops. It will take substantially higher prices before hybrids have an economic advantage over standard gas (or diesel for that matter).

    • me

      Agreed! My husband and I took a cab home from brunch downtown yesterday and had to stick our heads out of the windows because of the horrid smell of the cab. We were both insisting that our clothes took on the smell of it and felt the need to shower immediately afterward. Looking back, we should have just walked the couple of miles home.

  • jetpack

  • I agree with the above poster that my local committee has just approved a $1 deduction from all taxi tips, at least through July 25, and it may be extended longer based on fuel prices and general economics. We will be revisiting the issue on July 26th.

  • I love how all you hipsters oppose WalMart because they dont pay their workers a “fair wage” and dont provide benefits, but then you turn around and bitch about having to pay cabbies an extra buck.

    Are there some bad cabbies? Yes, dont tip them. Are there some good ones? of course. These people deserve to be paid for their hard work and their service just like anyone else.

    Paying a fair rate for what you’re getting is the cost of making the purchase. If you want to pay far less than what American labor is worth, go take a cab in Bangladesh.

    I dont like high cab fares, I dont like a lot of the cabbies I interact with – but I think this classist scapegoating is complete bullshit.

  • I am working 10 hrs shift my gas bill has gone from 35 to 60
    1 dollar help and beleve me i am not getting rich with extra 1 dollar. It still not covers my extra fuel-cost but helps.

  • I pick up everyone accept on-call to pickup, go anywhere, take credit cards and appreciate your business.

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