City Desk

Anti-Cab Feelings Make Taxi-Hating Site Viral

It's only Wednesday, and the Uber leglislation fracas has already roughed up the public image of Washington cab drivers. Now the week's about to get a little worse for the District's taxis:  Witness the increasing popularity on Twitter and Facebook of D.C. Cabs Suck.

The site is a take on the frustrations of hailing a cab in Washington. It initially comes off like another arm of Uber's crafty marketing effort, but is actually the unconnected but fortuitously timed creation of Joshua Belhumuer and his co-workers at creative agency Brink.

A few weeks ago, Belhumuer took a cab to meet a client. When he asked for a receipt, the driver only gave him a blank piece of paper.

"If I can't use my AmEx card and I can't get a good receipt, it makes it really hard for our bookkeeping to get reimbursed for that," Belhumuer says.

Belhumuer and his co-workers set to work making the site in their free time. At the suggestion of users on Reddit's Washington section, Belhumuer contacted lawyer Daniel Hornal, who is on a one-man quest to reform the city's cabs through lawsuits, to write a guide to passengers' rights for the site.

Belhumuer hopes that chatter about the site and the hashtag it spawned on Twitter (#dccabssuck) will make people talk more about how to improve the industry. Fortunately for Belhumuer and his ilks, the two proposals he says he would implement at the D.C. Taxicab Commission—a uniform color scheme and adding credit-card readers to cabs—passed a Council vote yesterday.

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  • Rick

    As someone who is tired of:

    * Drivers asking me, "where are you going?" before letting me in the cab.
    * Being driven a block and then told to get out when the driver didn't have change of a twenty.
    * Not being able to tell at night if a cab is picking up passengers or not because no one uses their taxi lights in the same way.
    * Being driven by cabbies constantly talking on their cell phones (and texting on occasion) while driving.
    * Having to wait for a taxi who can take credit cards when an ATM is nowhere in sight.

    I look forward to more and better regulation of a system that just barely works.

  • Bert

    Remember how DC cabbies were so peeved at Fenty for forcing meters on them? Harder for them to hide income, avoid taxes and cheat riders. For Fenty's sin of dragging DC's taxi industry into, what?, the 1950s, the cabbies gave free rides to the polls for anyone promising to vote for Gray. We see how that has turned out.

    It's high time to get rid of DC's Third World taxis.

  • Juan Valdez

    Here's a something I'll ask anonymously: is it strange that I have never ever met a hispanic taxi driver in DC? Do they exist?

  • Ward 5 DC

    I agree with Bert - Gray made promises with the cabbies and Jim Grahm to take out Fenty bc he tried to make us more like every other city - FAIR

  • Typical DC BS

    Funny how it was a wanna-be cabbie "kingpin" who tried to bribe Ms. Graham. Guess you can take the cabbie out of the third-world, but the third-world never leaves the cabbie.

  • Hillman

    DC cabs are absolutely terrible, and have been allowed to remain so as political payback for their support of Marion Barry, Vince Gray, Jim Graham, etc.

    It really is as simple as that.

  • http://gmail.com nick

    I am astounded by your ignorance and stupidity, generalizing the entire cab drivers because of few.if you had a little common sense like a donkey ,you not have written comments. Instead of preying on a poor cab drivers,why don't you go to the root of the problem and educated yourself.then you will have a good broader perspective.remember who caused the problem.ask a white diamond cab driver who drove in the sixty seventy.

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