Friday, December 9

DC Cabs Get High-Tech Makeover

In your dreams, Washington! Taxis in the District won't be seeing upgrades -- like those planned for Manhattan -- any time soon. What a surprise! According to the caretaker "in charge of" our Taxicab Commission, practically anybody with a car can pick up work as a cabbie in DC, and it shows. According to one transportation expert, "There's a long list of things that need to happen in Washington before you get to video screens in cabs."

Some would say fix the asinine zone system, but I'd start with requiring taxi drivers to take you where you want to go. Many times I have been out late in Northwest DC, trying to get home to Capitol Hill. Cabbies will demand my destination before unlocking their doors, and if they don't like the answer, they just pull off. Apparently the Lincoln Park neighborhood doesn't offer an effortless return fare for these lazy vultures. (Eleven bucks plus tip for a four-mile, 15-minute drive must not be incentive enough.)

Perhaps when H Street NE becomes the next destination nightspot, I'll have better luck. Or, since I have little faith in our hacks or local regulators, at least I'll be able to walk home.