Taxi Refuses Ride, MPD Response

Many of us have experienced similar situations. Having said that, this video of one patron’s experience is very tough to watch.

From the Shaw Neighborhood listserv:

Dear Mr Ron M. Linton,

First of all, I would like to thank you — and Councilmembers Mary Cheh and Tommy Wells — for your leadership and hard work to reform and upgrade the District of Columbia’s taxi services. For this evening’s incident, I must again thank the responding Third District MPD officers for their fast response, professionalism, patience and acting effectively and expeditiously to support the rights of a DC taxi patron. I also realize that DC taxi driver’s have a challenging, risk filled and sometimes dangerous job of serving the general public and, for the most part, in my experience they have done an admirable job in their efforts to serve all patrons fairly.

I file this complaint, not because I am insensitive the the concerns of the driver, but because the driver failed to follow basic regulations for customer service. I was not inebriated and I maintained a civil and compassionate tone throughout this encounter. But as responding MPD officers indicated (as you can see in the accompanying video ), the DC taxi driver 1) did not have his license information properly displayed, 2) he refused to make it available when I requested it, and 3) at least initially refused to take me to a legitimate DC address (as indicated on a business card which I handed to him for clarification).

The reforms that you and our forward-thinking DC Councilmembers have initiated should help to prevent problems like this. When drivers can be assured of payment up front, they will have less fear of wasting time and losing income. GPS devices will help them find legitimate DC addresses. Vehicle based driver and passenger emergency system call buttons will help drivers and patrons avoid dangerous and uncomfortable situations and confrontations. Taxi drivers should not need to be afraid to serve any patron in any corner or quadrant of the Nation’s Capital. A detailed service tracking system log will help resolve incidents and well as help create a data base of statistical information that will constantly help to improve the service; such a service will serve patrons and drivers best if it has an iphone app/mobile phone/pda/tablet compatibility. I honestly believe that better training and support for the drivers by your Commission will help give the District the best taxi service in the world and help avoid problems like this.

Having an exceptional police force, under Chief Lanier’s guidance working with engaged Commanders like MPD 3D’s Kishter, effectively eliminating problems in the Convention Center area, will help taxi drivers and patrons feel more comfortable on our streets and in our alley ways. Convention Center and future hotel guests (who are also DC Taxi patrons) need and deserve to feel as safe in Shaw at all hours of the day or night as they would in any other part of the Nation’s Capital.

79 Comment

  • Is anyone really surprised when this happens to them in a DC Taxi?

    Djibouti has a more consumer friendly taxi service than does the capital city of the worlds richest and most powerful nation.

  • While a lot of DC cab drivers are good and follow the rules, cab drivers in this city face the same problem they did with the zone system — there is enough doubt that drivers are not trustworthy that it taints the whole system. Cab drivers seem unwilling to give even a little bit in improving the service in DC.

  • There are many better examples of horrible taxi service than this one. He should’ve had his license displayed and that is a violation but not wanting to drive someone into an alley seems okay to me for safety sake….I know I know, he shouldn’t have agreed in the first place

  • When is this going to be fixed? For the 8 years I have lived in Shaw in the Shaw/Mt. Vernon area I think almost every time I have tried to get a cab home at night (either coming home from a bar or the airport- from the metro) I have been left by myself by numerous cabs who refuse to take me to my home when I tell them where I need to go or refuse to let me in their cab before I tell them where I need to go.

  • Wait, are you saying drivers should be allowed to demand payment upfront?

  • I agree with grandfunk, if you’re trying to demonstrate the horrible service from cabs in this city this is not a very compelling example.

    The hardest thing to watch was the second half of the video when the officers were browbeating the guy. (My guess is that none of them were president of their college debating society.) I’m no defender of cab drivers in this town but I can’t figure out why they didn’t just write the guy up and/or send him on his way.

  • im with the cab on this one…why didnt the rider ask to be taken to the intersection of alley. seemed rider was fishing

    • So you are saying that is it wrong to be taken to your front door like peoples whose addresses are deemed more “correct?” Really?

      • yes

        • Well then they shouldn’t be providing a public service that we LET them provide. It’s a trade-off: we give them a business license to work in the city and they have to go where we tell them to. Otherwise we end up with a system that only serves affluent white NW DC and shafts the other 50+% of the city.

      • You can’t think of any reason a cab driver might not want to drive into a dark alley in a sketchy neighborhood? Really?

        • I lost access to the front door of my basement house and now must use the alley. If I were to take a cab I would consider asking them to take me to the alley. I think they cab driver would just need to accept that on a case by case basis.

  • Wait a minute. I just watched this. The whole nonsense is over getting to X address “in the rear alley”. Come on. Grow up and use your legs. I would be skeptical too. Even if someone produced a business card.

    • I actually tell them to drop me off at an intersection because I don’t want them knowing my address. Unfortunately the cab driver called the cops about this once– apparently it’s a crime to not give your real address?

  • I got in a cab the other night and watched the driver apply the breaks going into every green light until they turned red. This happened at EVERY light. After I asked him why he was doing this he reponded “if I go fast, then I dont make any money.”

    • Man, the “slow down to catch the red lights” move ticks me off. Thanks for the confirmation that cabbies do this on purpose to jack up the fare. I was wondering if I was just paranoid when I noticed it.

      • This happened to me a few weekends ago. After what should have been a five minute drive turned into ten, then fifteen minutes, I asked the driver what was taking so long. His response was “Young lady [infuriating in and of itself], my job is to get you where you’re going safely, which means driving slowly.” Meanwhile, he was counting his cash and signing checks WHILE driving. I wouldn’t exactly consider that safe.

        • I don’t tip in these situations. And if I knew the route and knew how much it should cost (approx), I would only pay up to that amount.

  • I think you all may be missing a few important bits of info here -the videographer says his name is Martin from Rogue 24 restaurant. He’s the Maitre d’. Rogue 24 has an alley entrance and he was searching out a taxi for a patron. I think what the cop berating the taxi driver may have been getting at is that I believe Martin is African-american, and the taxi driver was scared this time because of Martin’s race. Sad sad sad.

    • I think the (African American) cop was *trying* to make it about that and ruthlessly browbeating the guy in the process. For God sakes, asked and answered! The passenger gave him a card with an address. The driver probably didn’t initially notice that it said “rear alley”, then suddenly the ‘address on N St’ turns into “take me down this dark alley.” That would scare me, too.

  • Let me get out my camera phone and make an issue out of a minor inconvenience… this isn’t “Dateline.” Walk to your alley and get over it.

  • Why were a squad of officers dispatched anyway? It seems two officers could have handle this situation. Talk about a waste of police resources. The person that videoed this scene causes many a problem in the Shaw neighborhood. He is such a petty and shallow person.

    • I don’t know about your last two statements, but I agree it did seem like a lot of officers for a minor taxi dispute. Especially if they all want to berate the guy at the same time.

    • Yeah, that dog park and working with KIPP for the Bundy field, such trouble. Getting on the case of blighted property owners makes him such a problem in Shaw. Not everybody likes the neighborhood activist.

    • When I lived in Shaw for six years Martin was one of the most active and valuable community voices. He got stuff done and put up with a lot of crap from people. But since I want to be civil, let’s hear your perspective on what he does wrong? $10 says you are full of hot air and libel.

    • I’m sure that’s a better question for MPD. Back in the 90’s one would be “lucky” to get one MPD officer responding to an incident within an hour. You might as well have forgotten about MPD response if it wasn’t broad daylight.

    • I believe it was because both parties called the police.

  • It’s interesting that many posters believe it’s ok for the cab driver to drop the patron somewhere other than his destination. If he is a PAYING customer and told the driver where he needs to go, then it should be expected that he be taken there. If there was any fear, don’t pick up the fare. As a paying customer, I would be expected to be taken where I need to go – not a block away or somewhere arbitrary. Why question the customer in this instance?! I agree with the officer, if the driver fears the inherent risk in being a cab driver, find another profession.

    BTW, just yesterday, a coworker was dropped three miles from our office (destination) in Tysons and though he hadn’t run the meter for most of the trip from DC, demanded more money. I mention this because the bigger issue is cabbies trying and getting away with unprofessional/unethical service and not always about fear.

    • I’m not surprised because this happens to me a lot. Recently, after trying to catch a cab to no avail, I asked a random girl to catch one for me. She agree and laughed because she knew why I asked her. She caught me the first cab that saw her, she opened the door and I got in. The driver knew that he was “tricked” and told me, “sorry my friend but I’m out service”. He said this before I could even say my address. I just wanted to get home so after a few minutes of explaining to him how wrong and asshole’ish that he was being, I jumped out and called my lady for a ride. This isn’t something new but something has to be done about this BS.

      • I would have and have in similar situations stayed in the cab. The longer they wait, the more money they lose.

        On New Year’s two years ago the cabby only let me in cuz he thought I was with a big group of girls. When he saw I was by myself, he refused to take me, giving me some sob story about how that had been a rough month and he needed to make more fares, even though we were headed to Capitol Hill (from K St, so the price per mile was pretty high) where he easily could’ve picked up people on Penn or by Union Station. I pointed to the rules in the back seat and told him I wasn’t leaving. It was cold, I am a girl, was by myself at 2am, and had no other way to get home. I was even gonna give he a big tip cuz I had been waiting so long.

    • It’s illegal to refuse to pick up a passenger, so “don’t pick up the fare” is not an option.

    • Is it illegal to say you’re dispatching a cab and not do it? I’ve called for cabs from my office in SE, where you generally can’t grab one standing on the street corner, and they never, ever arrive. I missed a flight once because I was stuck there for hours waiting for a cab that never cab. And yes, I called to check several times and was always assured that someone was on their way. It’s a shame that the areas most under-served by public transit, where people need cabs the most, are the ones where it’s impossible to get a cab.

      • That sounds like a Yellow Cab story. The same thing happened to me several times when I lived in SE.

      • Anyone in DC who doesn’t have immediate access to a taxi stand and needs a taxi to take them to National or Dulles needs to start using Red Top. Cheaper, faster, knowledgeable drivers, and I’ve never had to wait hours for a cab the way I have with Yellow Cab – in fact, most of the time they’re 5 or 10 minutes early when I book ahead. If they were able to do point-to-point service within the District, I’d never hail a cab on the street again.

        • @Matt,
          Not my experience with Red Cap. Called the night before to reserve a 4 a.m. pickup at a Dupont Circle home to take me to the airport. 4:30 comes, no cab and the dispatcher wouldn’t promise one. I finally called DC Cabs at 4:45 and got one in 10 minutes. My plane was leaving at 6:15 and this was after my original flight was cancelled due to weather and I needed to replace my ticket. The lines were long since it was Christmas. I managed to get on the plane because the ticket agents graciously pulled me out of line to expedite me. No thanks to Red Cap.

          • I had the same experience over Christmas. I had arranged for a 4am pickup from Red Top the night before, and when there was no cab at 4:15am, I called and was told to keep waiting and that they’d try to send someone soon since I was going to the airport. I called Yellow Cab shortly after and they told me they’d dispatch someone as soon as they could. I got really lucky in that a passing cab saw me on the side of the street with a bag and stopped to ask where I was going because he was already taking another passenger to the airport. Yellow Cab called while I was in the cab and said they could pick up me, which would have worked had I not gotten lucky. Red Top didn’t have a cab for me until 5:45am! Yellow Top has occasional issues too, but I think I’m going back to them as my go-to.

        • +1

          Whenever I need to get to National & Metro isn’t running, I always call Red Top. They always have a credit card reader, the cab is clean, the driver is friendly, and they’re always on time.

      • I’ve had this happen to me from both near H Street and my friend’s place by the Newseum, so it’s not neighborhood exclusive.

  • I could have used these cops when I had a very similar incident two and a half year ago on 14th and K NW. I was in a suit and the cab driver let me in, no problem. After I got in, he asked me where I was going and I told him 42nd and Benning NE. He then tells me that he doesn’t go there and that I need to get out. Being that I have been in enough cabs and have dealt with enough DC cabs and there BS, I knew this was illegal. One you are in, they have to service you. So I tell him that I am not getting out so he instead of taking me to my destination takes me to the gas station on 22nd and L across from the Ritz. While is is driving I proceed to call the cab commission which was closed, then 311 who in turn told me to call the police.

    Long story short, I am sitting in the car and waiting for the police, the cab driver tells another cab driver a lie about what is goign on and then the police come and ask another random cab driver pumping gas what is going on and he says tha I just jumped in and won’t get out which was total BS. I then tell them I am the one who called…they listen to my story and then ask the original cab driver what happened and this bastard tells them that he was off duty and I forced my way into the cab (seriously, I can’t make this up).

    The asshole cops basically don’t do anything but let guy go and get me another cab and tell me to get in and that he will take me there. I was so pissed that they just brused it to the side and didn’t ticket him like they were supposed to.

    Suit or not, you are still a black man in trying to get a cab in DC. I can’t tell you how many times I have been denied a ride because I told them I was going to 42nd and Benning (pre new H St.). In fact, from my understanding, they are not supposed to ask you where you are going before you get in the cab.

    However, I will say through conversations I have had with cab drivers that did take me home at all hours of the night there is some reason that some don’t like to go there, basically they couldn’t pick up passengers on the way back, again this was a few years ago before the H St. NE boom. The other reason why they said they don’t stop is that they would rather pick up groups of people vs. one person. But with that being said, they also acknowledged that there are a lot of asshole cab drivers out there that think they don’t have to follow the rules and discriminate…

    • Actually, the cops in that situation could have been much worse. I’ve been in similar situations and they arrested me (I’m a white girl).

      • Why did they arrest you?

        I totally understand but for what it is worth, I have dealt with the cops and have learned how and when to leave them alone. They can slap that obstruction of justice charge w/o force on you anytime they damn well please, pretty much for anything. They just arrest your ass, sit you in jail and when it is time to go to court usually the prosecutor drops the case because they know it is BS. BASTARDS!

        Regardless of all that, it is still BS that it happens.

    • I’m with you on this one, Kam. I’ve had horrible experiences with cab drivers as a white guy — it’s infuriating enough even in cases where it’s obviously not about race. Things like this make me livid. The guy in video seems to have kept his cool pretty well. It’s important for citizens/customers to stand up for themselves like he did. I’ve totally pulled the “I’m staying in this cab; you can’t refuse a destination” thing before, with mixed results. Next time, I think I’m calling 911 *immediately* if there’s an illegal issue like this. Why mess around? If these guys want to [email protected] with me, I’m not going through to motions of foreplay, so to speak. It’s on.

      I have trouble getting cabs to pick me up when I’m traveling alone. Cabs never refuse me when I’m with a woman or a group. They will, however, refuse to take me from 14th + U to parts of eastern Shaw when I’m alone. It’s crazy. No wonder they have a hard time making money.

      Some real reform has to take place. I think for the moment I’ll spend all my money on Uber.

  • I take cabs once a week because I take classes out in VA at night and want to get home safe to my address in Shaw. I hate taking cabs so much and while I usually tip well on most things that require tipping, I’ve become increasingly disinterested in taking that extra dollar out on top of an already decent tip for the cabbies I get. I’ve had them (I’m sure intentionally) misremember by address, go past the correct cut-over street because they can’t remember my street is one way (your a cab driver and should know these things). It’s such a shame how corrupted it all is but I think I may start doing what others do with tips and allow the one dollar gas surcharge to serve as the portion of whatever tip I give them and save my cash for other things.

  • I just read all of the responses and my assumption without trying to make this a race thing is that many of you have no clue what is like being a black man dealing with cabs in DC. It has been a very bad problem since I can remember.

    It is easy to sit back and say this and that and that it isn’t a big deal until you have to deal with the BS on a regular basis. It is demeaning and hurtful on a lot of levels.

    • FYI, if we’re bringing race into it, it’s the black citywide politicians like Gray who are protecting the cab companies from competition.

      • Means nothing, understand you are talking about polictians. Many, if not most, would whore their mother out if it gets them what they want.

  • The crime fighting Maitre d saves the day once again..I for one will sleep better tonight.If only more restaurant workers could be like the Maitre d..

  • I see both sides of this story. Playing devil’s advocate here: I have chatted with cab drivers a lot, asking about safety, etc. It is pretty dicey, and they are robbed fairly often, as they do not know the intentions of the stranger in the backseat of their car. They are just sitting there with cash from the entire night, and 9th an N can be a little sketchy, and you don’t know that after he drops you off, he may pick up another fare that doesn’t ‘fare’ well for him. So I get his side, but also as the passenger with intentions of just getting to home/to work, you would hope the driver will drive you to your destination, and as they so often do -no matter where you are-, pass by any potentail passengers from an area that freaks them out.

    • +1. During my grand jury service in DC we heard several cases of taxi drivers that were robbed (and sometimes beaten) at gunpoint. It’s unfortunate, but this is why the drivers are sometimes hesitant to pick up fares that are of a certain demographic, or ask to be dropped at non-desirable or remote neighbourhoods. I’m not saying this is or should be acceptable, but I can totally understand the side of the taxi drivers.

  • No cabs will stop for anyone in Petworth. It doesn’t matter how you are dressed or what your ethnicity is. In-service cabs with no passengers breeze past me every time I try and flag one down. I’ve been sworn at by one who was stopped at a light just for asking politely if I could get a ride downtown. I’ve had cab drivers make disparaging comments about my neighborhood while driving me home from downtown. Unfortunately, bus service on the 62 and 63 line has been cut back so ridiculously that the bus isn’t much of an option.

    • I live in Petworth and I cannot agree with you. Cabs are sometimes few and far between, but I’ve almost never had trouble with them or with flagging them down. I’m sorry you’ve had bad experiences.
      I’m also sorry that in 2012 Reg O and Kam still have to deal with this crap.

    • I have hailed cabs in Petworth.

  • I wonder if hizzoner Mr. Ron Linton will do a publicized sting operation of regular DC cabs now like he did with Uber? Smart money says no.

  • What really bugged me was 1) the one cop relentlessly browbeating the cab driver, and 2) the other cop who told him he should just get another job if he’s afraid. Well, maybe he doesn’t have a whole lot of options, lady. He’s an immigrant with limited English. Where do you want him to work? Maybe the Police Force, so he can bully, gang up on, and push people around while wearing a gun?

  • Always check your meter rate.
    Rate 1: regular rate within DC (the $19 limit was removed)
    Rate 2: essentially same as rate 1 but was used for fares that crossed DC
    Rate 3: Snow emergnce, 25% higher rate
    Rate 4: Hourly charge rate

    Twice in the last 6 months I got in cabs and they switched to Rate 3 in an attempt to overcharge me.

  • I really felt for the driver here – I rarely if never have bad experiences with taxi drivers. In fact I’ve often lingered in the cab to finish a conversation & have been told not to worry about the fare at least on 2 occasions. Given the risk they take interacting with strangers often drunk (like cops do) I say give them a break sometimes. More important things going on in this city.

  • There’s a cool iPhone app called TaxiTally that I use to report and rate cabs from the backseat of the cab. Check it out:

  • This is ridiculous. A cab driver should have every right to fear for his safety. I would not even consider asking them to drive into a dark alley. I don’t often side with tax drivers, but this patron is playing games.

  • what a total shame. listening to all these stories just disgust me. Being an African American in the city trying to get a cab is like trying to sit in a bar in Georgia in 1968 what a TOTAL SHAME. White folks please help your black brothers get home if you all are able. PLEASE its a shame but we still leave in those times at least it looks like it. Another sad fact is that most of these cab drivers are from African nations the rest being Persians who still have slavery in their home towns. Example in Saudi Arabia Dark looking arabs are mainly slaves in homes. Need more examples or facts hit me up at 911 LOL

  • Going to side with the cab driver on this one. I live a few blocks from this place, and I’ve seen cabbies get jacked in the area twice. He’s willing to go to the main street address. His only objection was based on fearing for his safety being asked to drive into an alley in Shaw. I get that.

    I’ve been looking forward to going to Rogue 24 for a while. I wonder if it will be an awkward moment when I ask the maitre’d if he’s the petulant douche who called the cops and posted a video on youtube instead of walking an extra 75 feet.

    • It looks like the taxi driver is not the only one who needs to learn to read English better. … The maitre d’ clearly posted the video to document that the driver had no license posted and refused to provide license info when requested. That’s it. Both violations. Case closed. Nice and tidy. No long drawn out he-said/he-said investigations and hearings, no bs lawyers muddling the issue with outrageous fees. Driver got busted in a town where so many get away with such things and take advantage of folks who don’t bother to file complaints. Well done. Well done. The rest is conjecture on part of the po-po; the WaPo gustapo trying to racialize a conflict that took place, primarily, among people of the same race; and the myopic twits and cyber brave sitting on their tushes watching as the world turns.

  • Taxi drivers should be familiar with places like Blagden Alley – it is not just an alley – there are homes and businesses there. If a distinguished looking black man in a suit cannot get a cab to one of the most expensive restaurants in the city, a block from our city’s convention center, and then can’t get the driver’s registration to report him, then go for it- call MPD. If the officers had a robbery call to answer, I assume they would have gone there instead.

    BTW, I recently got a cab where the driver did not even understand the English alphabet and drove north from M NW when I asked for K NW. And I have never given a driver my home address – I always give the intersection.

  • I’m curious– how much does a cab driver earn? Can s/he pull in a few hundred bucks on a busy weekend night? Are they making $35k?$50k $70k annually?

  • The head of Grand Cab Company called me yesterday to apologize profusely for the incident. The driver is being called in today (or tomorrow… he was not responding to initial calls the dispatcher made to him after the incident) for a reprimand which will likely result in some larger penalty from the Taxi Commission following formal review of the complaint. The official at Grand Cab Co. said the driver should never refuse to take someone to a destination from the outset, if there is a problem or the driver feels like the destination presents a problem or causes alarm, taxi protocol is for the driver to alert the dispatcher before calling the police — unless there is a dire emergency; even if there is an emergency and a police call, the driver should promptly alert the dispatcher. During the 2-3 minutes it took MPD to arrive, the driver never picked up his phone to call the dispatcher. That and the fact that the driver’s ID was hidden from the outset, made the company official suspicious.

  • There are so many things wrong with situation. I am not a big fan of cab drivers, but in this case I feel for the cabbie. I too have been refused rides, and had to argue with drivers over fares and directions.

    In this case, there seemed to be racial profiling accusation in the tone of the passenger/community activist and the MPD. I find that insinuation disgusting and completely without merit. The driver DID stop to pick up the African American man, and he was working in the Shaw neighborhood to begin with.

    I too would be very suspicious about driving around the block into an alley. That alley is in the same area of the Mood Lounge that was recently shut down due to criminal activity. And, the pick up/drop off sites are less than three blocks from a recent murder, home invasion and brutal rape in an alley. Our neighborhoods have been experiencing a major crime wave this year—everybody should be cautious

    Then, to have 4 MPD officers harass the driver about why he is scared, and why he is in this profession if he is afraid for his safety. Maybe–if 3 of those officers were making the alleys safer instead of harassing cab drivers for minor infractions–that driver might not have to be so afraid for his life. And, to watch the big black MPD officer try to get him to admit to racial profiling was hideous. The officer was obviously trying to appease the loudmouth community activists that called them and/or put on a show for the video camera.

    And, you have to be very suspect of the community activist who runs around with his video camera rolling, runs home and nicely edits the video, and gets it posted ASAP. There seems to be another agenda at work here. He did post on his local listserve this AM that he got 50 free cab rides from the taxi company, an apology and that they would be taking action against the driver. It is too bad so many city resources were wasted on this one incident because somebody wants more attention.

    • The irony is, I reckon, that you’re givin him more attention too — and got suckered into his grand scheme. Congratulations. Better to just fa’gitaboutit and get on with your life.

  • Ugh! I had a cab driver refuse to give me a ride from 14th and U Streets to 15th and East Cap (where I live) a few weeks ago. I held my ground and even offered to tip him generously to just please take me home. He refused to move his cab and called the police. A car w/out DC police signage on it showed up and two plain-clothes detectves got out. They did nothing but advise me to leave the cab and call in a complaint. I did that and got no response. It is frustrating being a woman trying to get home late at night and feeling like I have to fib about where I’m going in order to get a ride. I’ve started saying just “Capitol Hill”. I get it – my neighborhood is not flush with other fares that cab drivers can pick up, but I always compensate by tipping around 30% to drivers who are kind enough to drive me home without being mean about it. Hopefully, one day my big tips will pay off and cab drivers won’t kick Hill East residents out of cabs.

  • I am a dc cab driver in DC I really apologize about your problem with cab driver but I really don’t I really don’t understand stand your message are hired by those companies try to install these dvices on each cab Gentelman you did it purposely to disceridt a Dc cab drivers we know we voice less easy target immgrant but prince of petworth you are immgrant too

  • Let me put it out there and say that Martin fights for a lot of causes in DC. He is really dedicated. But he goes way over the line on many issues and spams all the local list servs with his fights against 1) DC Government, 2) Real Estate Slumlords and 3) Anybody who so much as looks at him wrong.

    He’s somewhat of a crackpot and a *lot* of people don’t pay attention to him anymore because he is crazy. My two cents.

    • His letter seems abundantly reasonable. He didn’t get overly emotional in the video (that was live previously). He’s supported a lot of success stories in Shaw: KIPP’s new athletic fields and dog park, kids playground safety, community gardens, city cycling initiatives. This brings a different patron-focussed issue to the fore of the taxi cab issues the Council is debating. It’s not all about taxi driver’s rights.

      A lot of public figures and activists are called crackpots and worse: Sandra Fluke, Gingrich, Obama, the Clintons, the Kennedy’s, Ralph Nader, the Bushes, etc. Some folks are best judged by the fruits of their labor. He hasn’t been put in jail like our old Ward 5 council jerk and he’s not under federal investigation. Seems pretty harmless really.

  • Hey America is founded by immgrants please remember this always we all are including mr. petworth the real concern foul

    • actually thats not true. most of the people that founded america were born here.
      immigrants have certainly made america the great country it is, but don’t get your facts screwed up.

  • Everyone who hates DC cabs but needs a ride from time to time should sign up for Uber! Its the best!

  • A cop who must wear a bullet proof vest and pounds of other types of self defense tools every time they go out to serve and protect the rest of us, might know something about getting into a profession that would inspire fear in most people. Not to mention the job requirement of putting up with all the non life threatening stupidity on DC streets and the ignorant flack they get on listservs und blogs.

  • You can count me on the list of taxi haters on this thread. I wanna say 9 times out of 10, I encounter thieving cab drivers… Forget cab drivers who refuse to take you to places.. I’ve encountered so many cabbies that have outright tried to scam me.

    For example, it took me awhile to figure out that in DC, if you or your friend ask to be dropped off at two stops, then you get charged one fare. (i.e. the cabbie starts the meter when he picks you up and stops the meter when he drops off the second person). Every time I’ve done this in the past, I was told by the cabbie that he had to charge two fares. i.e. Start the meter when he picks both of you up, stop it when he drops off the first person, then restart it for the second leg of the trip. Yeah, this is actually illegal. I finally figured this out after reading the taxi cab rules on a cab that was trying to scame my 2 friends and I after we landed at the airport and tried to get a cab to drop us off at 3 places. (Dupont, Logan, and Gtown). I told the cabbie that what he was trying to do was illegal. The cabbie only relented after I took a picture of his cab and threatened to call the police.

    This was even worse back in the day where cabs were charging by zone. I was in Adams Morgan one night, and we hailed a cab near the end of the night. First stop was Glover Park and the second stop was Georgetown. Not knowing the rules back then, I believed the cabbie when he said that he was allowed to charge 2 zones to the first passenger, and for ANOTHER 2 zones for the second passenger (me). What a load of crap.

    Another time, I asked a cabbie to drop me off from Adams Morgan to Gtown waterfront. Well he got lost, even though he had someone training him. He accidentally took whitehurst freeway all the way to the west end of Gtown and had to double back to get me to the waterfront. This added 15 minutes and probably $10 to my trip, though he generously reduced my fair by $1. I’m not joking. I was so late to my party I didn’t feel like fighting it then.

    I think there needs to be an expose on DC cabbies. In my mind, they’re all scammers unless they prove otherwise.

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