New York has its medallions, and D.C. has its zone system — the bane of each city’s taxi riders. However, unlike the medallion system, which shuts out would-be entrants into the taxi driving business, the costs of D.C.’s archaic taxi zone system fall entirely on passengers. Have you ever tried to read one of those D.C. taxi zone maps on a moving taxi? The things are so poorly drawn that it leads one to suspect that they were designed to confuse on purpose.
And if you’re going to Virginia or Maryland, expect a fare bargaining session worthy of a Middle Eastern bazaar. (One time I got out of a cab whose driver tried to charge me an exorbitant $35 for a trip I’d always paid less for; I got in the cab waiting behind his, and the driver in that one only charged me $20 — for the same trip!)
Finally, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty has ordered D.C. cabs to move to a meter system, as in the rest of the industrialized world. Naturally, many of D.C.’s cab drivers reacted with a strike, which, reports The Washington Post, had little impact.
Now where have we seen such a sense of underserved entitlement before?