City Desk

Drivers Unhappy About New Cab System

At the PostTim Craig and Mike DeBonis note that some cab drivers aren't terribly jazzed about the proposed changes—higher fares, newer cabs, credit card machines—to the taxicab system. A group crashed yesterday's press conference about the plan to protest:

[Ward 3 councilmember Mary] Cheh, chairman of the transportation committee, said the public, including drivers, would have multiple opportunities to weigh in on the legislation. But as she described the details of the bill, one driver interrupted her, shouting, “I haven’t heard anything that is going to benefit me.”

The man, who complained the measure would make cab-driving a “minimum-wage job,” was later escorted out of the mayor’s briefing room. A few minutes later, another driver verbally sparred with [Vince] Gray after the mayor said he had previously met with drivers to discuss some of their concerns. “No, you didn’t, Vincent,” said Larry Frankel, an advocate for some D.C. taxi drivers.

“Don’t tell me what I did,” Gray responded.

After the briefing, Frankel told reporters that the legislation would cost drivers too much. “I don’t know of a single company that wants to put these instruments in [cabs] for free,” he said. “You are talking about close to $3,500 per cab.”

Drivers are also concerned that the new rules will lead to a de facto medallion system like the one in place in New York City.

Meanwhile, Gray is pushing legislation that would add a surcharge of up to 50 cents per ride to create a fund to help drivers pay for improvements to their cabs.

Photo by Wayan Vota via Flickr/Creative Commons Attribution Generic 2.0 License

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  • noodlez

    MAYBE IF CAB DRIVERS DIDNT SHUT OUT A SEGMENT OF THE POPULATION (NAMELY BLACK MALE RIDERS) THEY WOULDNT COMPLAIN ABOUT PROPOSED CHANGES THAT WOULD COST MONEY BECAUSE THEY WOULD HAVE MORE OF IT
    FUCK 'EM!!!

    THEY SHOULD ALSO INCLUDE INCREASING PENALTIES FOR THOSE DRIVERS THAT GET CAUGHT PASSING UP BLACK MALE RIDERS!

  • Tim

    Maybe increase penalties for drivers who discriminate based on protected status (race, sex, etc.) or based on destination, then use that money to pay for the improvements.

  • hymesb

    Ditto on Noodlez comment. And, double screw them. As many times as I have had to.have white wen hail cabs for me...I couldnt care less about them.

  • K Street

    Meanwhile, in the real world, people are concerned that the bells and whistles will price most riders out. There's a divide between those who want to maintain the systems as it is. That's primary - whereas there are others who don't mind a fare hike as long as they get the bells and whistles.

  • https://www.unibulmerchantservices.com Jay Gould

    I think the far more interesting cab story of the week comes from Chicago, although the issues are related. Chicago cab drivers, as their colleagues in San Francisco and elsewhere are charged a credit card processing fee of 5%, which is truly exorbitant and they are right to feel cheated and demand to be compensated for it. However, the focus of their outrage is misplaced and it is not their customers who should be charged a fee when using a card.

    See, a typical rate for a card payment processed at a taxi would be around 1.7% + $0.20 for credit cards, give or take, and could possibly be lower for debit cards. That is what the payment processing company would charge the cab company. However, the cab company then charges its drivers 5% for the same transactions, pocketing the difference as profit. So it is clear who the real culprit is here and it is not the customer. http://blog.unibulmerchantservices.com/why-cab-drivers-hate-credit-cards-christmas-edition

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