Mknac’s Weblog

Diving into the shallow pool of Web 2.0 and Social Media head first!

Here’s a TIP on DC taxicabs

Shannon wrote on her blog Shannon’s Corner about her recent experiences with DC taxicab drivers after the change from zones to meters in a post titled In the City – Is the Fare Fair?

For those not familiar with DC, this is a story of the little guy finally sticking it to the man.  DC recently changed the fare system used by taxis from zones to the meter system most of the world uses. In the zone system the city was broken down into zones.  You paid a flat fee if you moved within a zone.  You paid increasing fares if you moved from one to two zones, etc.  Amazingly taxicab drivers seemed to always find a way to cross a zone and charge you more on any trip.  Imagine that? By the way if you were in zone X traveling to another location in zone X but the cab crossed into zone Y and then back into zone X you were charged for traveling between zones.

DC Taxi Zone Map

DC Taxi Zone Map

After years of abuse at the hands of taxicabs and their special interest groups the zone system was beaten down by the good citizens of DC, commuters and visitors.  A blow for truth, justice and the American way was struck and heard across America.  After a long protracted battle with all sorts of special interest groups the city finally did away with the zone system and instituted the taxicab meters found in just about every other major city in the world.  Woo Hoo!  Yes, I’m a fan of the meter system.

Myself, I’ve had great taxicab experiences in DC since the switch to the meter system.  I even feel better about the fare because I know I’m not being told some BS about crossing a zone even if it’s a short ride.  I like looking at the meter and watching my money fly out of my pocket.  Assuming that the meter is properly calibrated (lets not open that can worms) I know the driver isn’t just making up some fare.

Shannon however hasn’t felt the joy since switching over to meters.  Shannon knows her way around DC and how to get from point A to point B.  In some of her recent taxicab adventures she’s encountered some unscrupulous taxicab drivers taking the long route to run up the meter charges!  I’m appalled that a DC taxicab driver would do such a thing…  But she’s also encountered courteous and honest taxicab drivers who have taken her by the shortest route.

So the bad taxicab driver makes more money than the good taxicab driver because he’s running up your bill taking the long way home.  Yes that’s not fair.   Here’s how I deal with it.

– When you enter the cab act like you know where you’re going. (even if you don’t)
– Ask or make a suggestion about the route so they know that you know the best route.
– If you don’t like the route tell the driver to take a different route.
– As far as the good driver goes I always tip for good service.  He doesn’t have to share the tip with the cab company etc.  So he’s actually better off getting me from point A to point B quickly and keeping the tip than sharing the couple dollar run up with the cab company.  If I think the taxicab driver has run up the bill he gets the fare on the meter to share with the man.


July 22, 2008 - Posted by | social media |


  1. […] Corner and followed by a comment by Majorman and posts in Everyonelovesavegangirl and Mknac’s blogs. I agree with Everyonelovesavegangirl – DC has been lucky to have the zone system. […]

    Pingback by Taxicab Tricks International « Tatyana’s Weblog | July 27, 2008 | Reply

  2. Karl:

    I’m not going to allow your ignorant post on my blog or allow you to use my blog to direct traffic to your blog. Especially so for a person trying to make rude comments.

    I went to your blog and you offer no primary research. Do you know what primary research is? Do you actually know how to conduct and collect primary research?

    Your blog only contains secondary research and you didn’t even reference it properly.

    Before you criticize others look at yourself.

    Go away Karl.

    Comment by mknac | July 29, 2008 | Reply

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