City Desk

The D.C. Taxi Fuel Surcharge Has Expired. Just So You Know.

Because I grew up in an Old World household where I routinely absorbed tales of the privation my ancestors suffered–the five-mile uphill walk to school, laundry lists of all the things I had as a kid that my elders had to slaughter a herd of sheep to even feel OK dreaming about–I tend to have a relatively un-American attitude toward a dollar. Which is to say, I can be a cheapskate at times. So, yes, I know I'm about to grouse about a dollar.

Last Thursday I took a cab after rush hour from the Metro Center Metro station to CP's offices in Adams Morgan. At the end of the trip, the cabbie told me the fare was $9.80–$8.80 for crossing two zones, plus a $1 gas surcharge. I didn't see anything posted in the cab about such a thing, and said so.

"Ha ha ha ha ha ha," said the cabbie, who then reassured me that there was indeed a gas surcharge.

I stiffed him on the tip. My ancestors could only dream of taking a cab to Adams Morgan one day.

I also dropped a line to the D.C. Taxi Commission, which today informed me that the latest gas surcharge expired weeks ago. "You are correct, the gas surcharge ended on September 19, 2007 @ 11:59 p.m.," the anonymous respondent e-mailed me.

I thought about getting a snack from the vending machine to celebrate this small victory of fiscal rightitude, but they recently raised the prices to 80 cents.

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  • Sadie

    I got into an argument with a taxi driver about this just the other day! I want a letter from the city to carry around or something.

  • Jeffrey

    I don't know how many cabs I've taken since then. None of the drivers said anything, of course. What a bunch of crooks.

  • Paul

    I too have taken a bunch of cabs since then. In fact, almost everyday since the surcharge expired. I also keep paying the surcharge. The difference being, I READ the notice that is in every taxicab and noted the expiration date. I challenge anyone to do the job these folks do and not want that extra dollar - have YOU stopped paying more at the pumps? Wanna name crooks take a look down Penn Ave.?

  • Mike

    Actually, we've ALL stopped paying more at the pump. The price of gas has stabilized (and actually gone down a few times) over the past few months, and it will continue to get cheaper as we head into the lower-demand driving season.

    Wanting the extra dollar and deserving it are two very different things. I would love to be able to earn more just because I want it, but it doesn't work that way.

    If the surcharge has expired, then the surcharge has expired. And I'm more inclined to be generous with a tip to a cabbie who informs me than one who sits there quietly and waits to see if I'll notice.

    Thanks for the heads-up, Mark.

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  • Mike Licht

    Print this out and show it to drivers to "remind" them that the gas surcharge expired on September 19th:

  • http://n/a Allsaints Macauley

    The cab drivers should get the medallion that the companies are fighting for, out of 8000 cabs in the city, the companies has 1200 combined and the owner operator has the rest of them. When the companies intends to put a cab on the street, they buy used taxis from other jurisdiction with 200000, two hundred thousand miles and repaint them to DC taxis, but when the owner/operator intends to put a cab on, they go to the dealership and buy a brand new cab, which shows respect for the District so the owner/operators are the ones that should have the medallion is is a business license .