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Dear PoP – Cabs Won’t Take Me Home


Photo by PoPville flickr user Jess J

“Dear PoP,

I was outside Meridian Pint with a friend in Columbia Heights on Saturday night around 12 am trying to get a cab home. I live around 8th & E NE. I flagged down four cabs and all refused my fare, two saying “I don’t go to Northeast,” one who just said “no” and drove away, and the fourth saying he was on his way home to Silver Spring and my address was out of his way. I was under the impression it was illegal for cab drivers to refuse fares in the District, and when I brought that up to the first cab driver he said he didn’t care. After briefly driving off, he came back and tried to bargain a price with me and when I refused to do so, he told me that my choice was stupid and sped off. Unfortunately, I did not have time to take down his information to report him. Do you know of anyone else who’s had trouble getting home to NE (or anywhere else in the District)? And what can I do about this if it happens in the future?”

When I first moved to Petworth in 2003 cabs used to refuse to take me home all the time. It’s hard to describe how frustrating that feeling was. Fortunately that rarely happens to me anymore. At the time I think folks just recommended taking down their license number on the visor? Does anyone know what phone number/who to contact with that info? Have others encountered a tough time catching a cab to other quadrants of the city? Do folks who go the H St, NE or the Hill have a tough time catching a cab back to NW and vice versa? What’s the best advice for when a cab refuses to take you home?

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