Ed. Note: We spoke about DC Taxis “eliminating outdated traditional meters” by August 31 back in May.
“I am the owner of bay cab. This story was an account of a passenger that took a cab using my system. I am not sure of the specifics that involved the passenger. I have reached out to the passenger via email and secure message from square both. I have issued a full and entire refund to the passenger. I have asked the passenger to give me a call personally so that i could understand the event that took place to ensure that this mistake will never happen again. The success of this system is very very important to me.”
The DC taxi commission seems to be in the process of allowing cab drivers to use tablet-based “taxi meter” apps instead of normal taxi meters. Naturally some cab drivers are using this opportunity to scam their customers. My cabbie today put a 25% tip on my bill without being asked and got agitated when I wanted to get my emailed receipt instead of a paper receipt. Here’s why – beyond the sneaky 25% tip, the distance of my ride from the Pret on M street to the Parker Flats condos at 2nd and Elm supposedly took 2.6 miles according to this “taxi meter.” The distance on google maps is 1.9 miles for this same trip, and looking closely at the email receipt it appears that a section was “tracked” as having looped around (between 6th and New Jersey) even though we took a straight route up Rhode Island Avenue. See the screenshot of the receipt – very clearly this is a 1.9 mile route, but just as clearly this app measured it to be 2.6 miles.
Of course there’s essentially no recourse since this is a DC cab; it’s not worth my time to try to contest a tiny overcharge, so I’ll just suck it up and go back to using Uber for everything – at least Uber is easy to get a refund from if a driver tries to scam you. Big thumbs down to letting cabbies use random apps to measure distances, and strongly recommend your readers get email receipts and check the mileages if they must use “regulated” cabs instead of ride services.”