Taxi Hell

I spent Friday night at a house party on 17th and U. Good times. There was a dude playing records who called me a "fag" for requesting Justin Timberlake. That's always exciting.

Despite my sexuality being called into question (and I did request some JT, so I probably deserved it), the party really was delightful. So delightful that I decided to stay until after 3am when the Metro closes its gates. So, the only reasonable way to get home was via taxi. Luckily 17th and U was a block from a pretty busy strip of bars and stores. Hailing a cab shouldn't have been a problem. After standing outside for 20 minutes, I realized that I was mistaken.

What was so frustrating about my experience wasn't that I couldn't catch a cab. It was past 3am, so there were a lot of cabs that were already full. My problem was that I caught four cabs, and none of them would drive me to my intended destination in Friendship Heights. When I gave them my cross street, they told me they wouldn't drive me that far. One guy told me he would only drive me that far for $35. (Seriously.)

Well, legally, you have to you jackasses. The law is pretty clear. Once you guys stop you have to drive us to our intended destination. Shame on the DC Taxi Commission website for not having more details on this law, but I know it exists because it's on the back of every seat in a licensed cab. Regardless, a four mile drive seems more than reasonable. I understand that after the Metro closes you want to stay as close to the weekend hotspots as possible. That maximizes profit. But once you stop you don't have a choice. Drive me to my house. End of discussion.

So I was inconvenienced and lost 20 minutes of sleep due to some cabbies' lawlessness. But I have a friend who was MAJORLY inconvenienced by a DC cabbie. She was drinking at DC9, a bar near the 9:30 Club. She took a cab to get to her place in Forest Hills. Instead she ended up by the Twinbrook Metro stop so her cabbie could pick someone else up. She only got home after breaking into tears. So, DC cabbies...when they're not ignoring the likes of me, they're abducting my friends. That's some creepy shit for a girl who happens to be by herself. Can you imagine getting into a cab and then having the driver take you to fucking Twinbrook? DC cab drivers shouldn't be so damned rapey.

I know we could have made a bigger deal over this and we should have taken down their cab numbers to file reports with the Taxi Commission and blah, blah, blah. But it was late. All I wanted was to fall asleep. It's not like I carry a pen and pad on me in case a cab driver decides to be a douchebag. But after my experience early Saturday morning, that might not be such a bad idea.

By the way, when I finally got a cab, my driver was very nice. And I think he undercharged me. Awesome. Was it worth the 20 minute wait? No.


  1. Know how I know Rusty is gay?

    There was a dude playing records who called me a "fag" for requesting Justin Timberlake. That's always exciting.

    What're you, bringing sexy back?

  2. When I'm drinking I like to hear Rock Your Body. Is that so wrong?


  3. You're flaky, but in a good way.

    I've had the worst experiences w/ dc cabbies. Same thing. Now I'm a little more aggressive. Someoen gives me that crap I'll at least tell him to go fug himself and maybe kick his door in (if I was drunk, that is). Mess w/ me....

    I once tried to get a cab at a stand outside a hotel after a conference and the guy told me to try the next cab, locked his doors. I'm wearing a suit and carrying a briefcase, by the way. Problem was, I wasn't carrying luggage.

    I wasn't going to the damn airport! So the second cabbie was pissed at me and the other guy. I don't know why I didn't fuck w/ that bitch.

  4. Know who's worse than cabbies? Bicycle messengers or bicycle commuters. I once saw a guy in Adams Morgan hit a cabbie (the kind of coward who'll only mess w/ someone if he's bigger and convinced he'd win).

    The cyclist kept yelling and wouldn't let it go and the cabbie was saying in broken English that the biker had hit HIM, not the other way around. After the light changed, the biker sped down the street after the cabby for some more revenge.

    The innermost circle of hell should be reserved for cyclists (especially those who wear the biker pants and france telecom or USPS uniforms), with cabbies once circle out.

  5. I once got arrested for beating up a dc cabbie and got sentenced to 3 months of shovelling horse shit at Rock Creek stables on the weekends.

    Worth every minute of it.

    Buncha assholes.

  6. you can all feel happier knowing that DC intends to put a meter system into play. Therefore, when they cabbie stops to pick up anyone who lives in butt-fuck-four-miles-outside-of-dc, they won't mind taking you because the meter will run much more than the a simple two zones. So congrats. You'll get your $35 dollar fare but know that it's honest.

  7. I got picked up by a MD (metered) cab at Ward Circles and was driven to the Greyhound Bus station near Union Station. The distance was much further than the trip I made on Friday and it cost me $13. The $35 isn't honest unless you're going to Reston.

  8. I went to the JT show in New York, and there were plenty of straight dudes there, so don't sweat it. It's nice when a guy can admit to liking his music, instead of most dudes who hide it for fear of having their sexuality called into question.

  9. No, sweetheart. You can be "straight" but still have awful taste in music. The word gay now connotes so much more. They're still "gay" in the broader sense, even if they aren't MSM or are just "latent."

  10. I'm not even a JT fan! I just really wanted to hear Rock Your Body!! Seriously!!!

  11. Oh, stop it. You love the attention. When's he gonna dump that goofy broad?

  12. I had the same problem when I lived in Tenleytown - not even a 10 minute drive from Adams Morgan.

    Once, in my stubborness, I walked from the 930 club all the way to Cleveland Park before successfully hailing a cab.

    The worst was when my cab driver was drunk - ran a red light and slammed into the car in front of us on Wisconsin Ave. I was about a half mile from home so I asked him to let me out so I could walk - knowing it would take forever for the cops to get there. He refused to let me out unless I paid ... huh? You're drunk and you hit another car! I'm not paying you $13. He locked the doors and I couldn't get out. I had to call the police and tell them I was trapped in a yellow cab by Tenley Circle. Finally I talked some sense into him by convincing him I wouldn't make a very good witness when the cops arrived. He let me out and I told the car in front to make sure he had a breathilizer. Would have like to have known the outcome, but it was 4:30 a.m.

  13. I agree that the hottest places in hell are reserved for Nazi's, child molesters, bad cab drivers, AND cyclists (i'm a car, now i'm a bike, now i'm a car. Where's my rock creek pedestrian path? waaaaaah).

    They should put a 24-hour phone number in the back of cabs next to "rights" list that you can call and record your complaint while in the cab.

    Oh and that DJ... you know he rocks out to Abba.

  14. Everytime I see a cyclist I am reminded of Calvin's father and it brings a smile to my face. Otherwise cyclists are pretty insufferable.

  15. Ha! I was at that party!

    There's not much I can say in defense of DC cabbies or the taxi system here in town, but I can tell youthat if you think the cabbies are any worse in this town than they are elsewhere, you are sorely mistaken.

    Once, after a late night in Cleveland, I asked a cabbie why there was a little icon of a man flashing on his fare reader. His resoponse: "Oh, that means there's an *n-word* waiting for a fare in this neighborhood, so to be careful."

    Another time in Vegas, a cabbie was telling us stories of the wildest things that had ever happened to him. About three stories in, he turns around and says "Oh, just wanted to check and make sure none of you were black before I told this story."

    On the flip side, I got into a cab at Dulles after a horrid one-day in-and-out business trip, and the cabbie who picked me up pulled over on the tollroad to feed me cheese crackers. Why? Because he's been watching me in the rear view mirror, and he could tell my sugar was dangerously low.

    The drool and the nonsense talk might have tipped him off, but it was still a heck of a nice thing to do.

  16. One time a DC cabbie stopped at a gas station and made me go in and get change, because he couldn't change my $20. OK, that's pretty tame. But still! What cabbie can't break a friggin $20?

  17. In response to the comment about the drunken cabbie....

    Man, that pisses me off to hear that. When you run a red light and cause a traffic accident and take the passenger's life into your own hands, you pretty much forfeit the lousy $13 fare. Had I been locked in that cab w/ him, I would have kicked the shit out of him. Man.

    Those windows would have been busted, too!

    Dude, I remember your comment from weeks ago (I'm a bike, I'm a car, I'm a biken now.)

    Just dare to jaywalk INSIDE of a crosswalk and they'll get pissed off, but they'll try to wing you as they run a red light. They want to have it both ways and they usually act very chauvinistic about the whole thing.

    Someday, I'm going to watch as a cabbie and cyclist beat each other to death.

  18. i once had a cabbie charge me $35 just because i requested that he find some JT on the radio. and as he turned around to yell at me, something about "no more rocking your body, gaybee", he hit a cyclist.

    that story isn't true by the way

  19. though i wish it was....

  20. I run into this behavior from cabbbies anytime I try to catch a cab from NW (Dupont, Adams Morgan, Midtown, etc.) to my apartment on Capitol Hill.

    I'm not sure what the law is about refusing a fare, but I'm not sure that stopping and not taking you is considered "refusing a fare." However, once you're in the cab, I know for sure they have to take you. So my strategy is simple when I know it might be trouble: I get in before telling them where I'm going, even if they ask. Just charge the back door, get in, and tell them where you're headed.

    Of course some cabbies are bigger fuck-ups than the rest, and they'll keep their doors locked until you tell them where you're going. This is particularly rampant in Adams Morgan.

    But if you get in and they don't take you where you want to go, you've got all kinds of time to get thier name, cab number, etc. Heck, I'd call the Taxicab Commission from right there since the number should be posted.

    I've made a bit of peace with the cabbies in this town by adapting my tactics, but about six months ago they were a strong contributing factor to high levels of stress. My favorite cabbie was the one that bitched something under his breath to the effect of, "by the time I get back, there will be no fares" when a group of us jumped in at Dupont and told him our Capitol Hill destination. He then proceeded to "drive angry" the whole way home, accelerating hard from stops and slamming on the brakes at the next light, tailgating, speeding, and cutting off other drivers. I tried to stiff him on the tip, but my too-kind friend gave him some extra. No need to reward an asshole, in my opinion.

  21. I was at DC9 once myself when my friend threw up all over the place back by the DJ booth. Anyway, she wanted to leave so we put her in a cab. Unfortch, she wanted to go to her BFs place. In Reston. I asked the DC cab driver outside the bar if he'd take her to Reston - for $60. He agreed. They drove off and at some point asked my friend to confirm where she was going. She said Reston. Turns out, he thought I said Rosslyn when I put her in the cab and promptly pulled over and made my vomit covered friend to get out. If you're familiar with DC9 and the 9:30 Club, not the best neighborhood for a girl to be standing on the street covered in puke. She found another cab and the SAME THING HAPPENED AGAIN. Third time was a charm though and she made it to Reston at some point, but still...

    And don't worry about it Rusty, at one point on Friday night I was asked if I could possibly lisp any more. I was drunk! And, SLURRING! I swear!

  22. Rusty, just admit you like a shaved scrotum slapping you on the chin, k?

  23. Fuck all of you dissing cyclists. Try to go out and ride on these streets with these fucking moron drivers. We also don't pollute, shitnecks.

  24. It totally f-ing figures that you cycle, ya moron.

    I thought I told you to GIT, you mangy mutt! Git! Git!

    You pollute the Internet with your insipid comments and banal thought patterns, you scurvy dog.

    GIT! GIT!

  25. If anyone takes credit for polluting the Internet, it's me.

  26. Usually getting in and then giving the destination will guarantee a ride. Most cabbies won't want to start a fight with you when you're already in the cab.

    New Year's a couple years ago was the date of my worst cab hailing experience. Adams Morgan to Silver Spring. No one would pick us up. It took $50 for a cabdriver to take us the fifteen minutes home to Summit Hills.

  27. Rusty, You criticize Nickelback, and then admit you listen to Justin Timberlake.

    Do you have any idea how much of a fucking idiot you are?

  28. one time i was in a cab with two of my friends and we were all wasted and one of my friends yaks in the cab. the cab driver flips out..kicks the yaking friend and my other friend out of the cab..drives me to the nearest ATM, asks me to pay him $60 for the damage (i was wasted and just did what he said..i later found out that the 'throw up' fee in cabs is alot less..like $15 or something). he then proceeds to drop me off a good 6 miles from my apt. alone. drunk. at 1am. let's not forget that he dropped my two other friends off alone too. thank god i didnt get raped by the random dude that picked me up.

  29. One time, i was wasted and got a cab ride home to Arlington and just preferred a $20 bill to the cabbie. He hadn't told me what the fare was. Well, tell me what the fare is, dickhead!

    Since I was incredibly stoned, I just emptied out the entire contents of my wallet, opened the door and ran.

    Never again. What a jerk just stopping and not even telling me what the fare was, just waiting for me to guess what it'd be so he could be nasty.

    The next morning I thought I'd gotten mugged by a squirrel. All of my money was gone. You got to be aggressive w/ these homies.

  30. Why didn't you just get out w/ your friends when THEY got kicked out? That was stupid.

  31. because the cabbie said i had to pay the cleaning fee
    i dunno i was wasted i didn't know any better obviously if we all had been sober none of this shit would have happened

  32. yeah, I know. Just makes me mad.

  33. why didn't you take their licenses and report them. i always threaten them with that and they always grudgingly oblige. of course, i'm a woman, so it's easier, but it's always fun to argue legality with them. i live near military road and georgia avenue, so it's pretty far. i hang out in the dupont/adams morgan area, and it's always funny to see if they're going to charge me for two zones or three. i always have the $11 ready, and if they are honest and charge two zones, they get a $2 tip. if they are cheating bastards, they get no tip.

    it gets kind of difficult to play with their minds if you are too drunk, however.

  34. I hate cab drivers in general. Think it was hard to get a cab going to Frienship Heights at 3am? Try getting one to come to Fairfax that late. Or even going to DC at anytime. Unless you are going to National Airport, they dont want to take you. Its too far they say...I guess they dont care about the tip I would give them on top of my fare.

    Oh and to the Yellow cab driver who charged me $4 extra for my luggage that was more than 3x3...screw you. When I brought home 10 bags of groceries I was only charged $1 extra. Wtf is that?

  35. What is this? Kill all the cabbies post!