Friday, October 2, 2009

Adams Morgan Taxi Blackout?

Had a rather good run the last few months not talking about taxi drivers. After the implementation of the metered fare system last summer, all seemed well on the taxi front. The fare seemed, well, fair. Customers like never have to worry about walking the extra few blocks to get out of a zone or being overcharged if they didn't know about the zones. The drivers contend that they're losing up to 30% of their pre-meter weekly income. But Jim Graham says there are as many as 300 new taxi drivers registering per month. I have no idea if that's true. If there are so many new drivers becoming licensed there must be some money to be made. And if I were a driver, I'd want less drivers getting licenses, because that would dilute the product. But moving on...

The whole DC taxicab industry seems sleazy and corrupt, from the drivers gaming the old zone system to the recent FBI probe of an official in Graham's office over taking a bribe on behalf of taxi legislation. Taxi drivers were incensed over the bill which would add another layer of regulation to the registration part of the business. A move that could eventually limit the number of cabs through medallions or another identifying marker. They had planned a strike for last Tuesday, which apparently was carried out.

This weekend, there is talk of another strike, this time in Graham's district, Ward One. Taxi drivers are planning to boycott Adams Morgan on late-night Friday and late-night Saturday. The "service blackout" could encompass the area from 16th Street to Connecticut Avenue and Florida Avenue to the Duke Ellington Bridge. Basically all of Adams Morgan, especially the 18th Street strip. I guess it's an effective strategy?! Or not really, considering the only people left without a ride those nights will most likely be people who don't live in Ward One.

Somehow, I don't think this will work. But just in case they somehow pull this off, all you folks who haven't mastered the mass transit route back to your place of residence better brush up on it. Or carry along a DD with you. Or walk home. Whatever happens, let me know. I'd like to see how this "strike" works out.